For too many Americans, Memorial Day is all about department store sales at the mall, marathons, picnics, baseball and auto racing. But I trust that most of us know that Memorial Day is really about honoring those who are serving and have served in the military and particularly to remember the nation’s war dead, the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms that we enjoy.
When we celebrate Memorial Day, it doesn’t mean that we are agreeing with all of our government's decisions and wars, but that we are taking time to recognize those who are willing to sacrifice it all to protect us so that we can enjoy the blessings given to us by God.
For Christians it should also be a day that serves as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice that was paid for us when Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that all who believe in Him might be reconciled to Jesus and have eternal life.
Each year as I remember Memorial Day I am reminded of John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. That is exactly what my boyhood friend Billy Feaster of Portsmouth did only days after arriving in Vietnam while trying to save a wounded soldier. That is exactly what Jesus did for me, and for you, on that cross on Calvary.
I think there are some thing we should consider doing on this special day:
- Send a note of thanks or visit a Veteran you know, particularly one who may be struggling or is alone.
- If you know someone who has lost a loved one in battle, reach out and offer to help in some special way.
- Participate in a Memorial Day Parade. There is one in Sandown that begins at noon at the Sandown Depot and proceeds to the War Monument on the Town Hall lawn.
- Fly the American flag at half-staff until noon.
- Participate in a moment of personal silence and prayer at 3 p.m. during the National Moment of Remembrance.
- Pray for God’s blessing and protection over all branches of our military and those that serve even today.
And most importantly, commit to pray for our nation, its leaders and seek God in our personal life remembering the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.
See you Sunday at 8:45 at St. Matts as Pastor Steve wraps up our current sermon series One in Heart and Mind.
Love in Christ,