Cinco de Mayo—celebrating the victory
In May 1862, French immigrants and other Europeans sought to seize the land and with it the liberty of the Mexican people in the city of Puebla.
The Mexican military was clearly the underdog. With little or no training, minimal finances and weapons—lacking every advantage the Europeans possessed—the relatively small Mexican force of 4,800 soldiers fearlessly confronted the French army in Puebla, and were victorious. These patriots did not think twice about defending what was most precious to them—family, land and country.
In contrast to what was happening elsewhere, the triumph in Puebla gave Mexicans a sense of hope. The military’s courage, honor and love of liberty have been recorded in the history of the world. More than just a party day or a day off from work, May 5 is now a day for Mexican citizens to reflect on the courage of the soldiers who fought for their freedom and to consider the individual struggle to build a better future.
Studying my country’s history led me to consider the battles we, as Christians, encounter every day. Many times, Christ’s victories in the lives of the people around us motivate us to move forward. In 2 Timothy 4:7-8, Peter wrote to Timothy, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (NIV).
A Christian’s ultimate victory is to enter the presence of God. While our names may not go down in history, they will be engraved in the book of life. With Christ, we have a greater victory. Like the Mexican soldiers, we gear up with our best weapon, the Bible, and with faith and courage, secure in the knowledge that the one who will be with us in battle is much greater than the enemy who wants to steal our peace and liberty. Our freedom is in Christ.
Cinco de Mayo is a celebration for Mexicans all over the world to recall a victory over a particular enemy that day in 1862. As militant Salvationists, we should celebrate every day our victories over the enemy. We must share these victories with family and friends so that they will inspire others and so that we too can be remembered as fearless warriors.
It’s important to celebrate patriotic holidays, but it’s even more important to enjoy and celebrate the peace and liberty that Christ gives us each day.