The day used to be called Decoration Day where family members made the yearly trek to the family burial plots to mow, trim, place flowers, reset monuments to generally decorate the site and to give honor to the dead. As long as we treasure life and our freedom, we will take time to give such honors on Memorial Day
Memorial Day, which in the U.S. always falls on the last Monday of May, is an important time to remember those who gave their lives in service to our great country. Approximately 2 million lives have been sacrificed in war from the time of our founding to this day. That’s a lot of sacrifice. A lot of blood. A lot of dads and sons and uncles and some daughters who did not come home because they gave their lives in service to this country.
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Jesus Christ gave His life on the Cross at Calvary for the sins of the world. The death of God’s Son is so important that Christians remember it not every year, but every week. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son which Christians memorialize every first day of the week in the Lord’s Supper. The sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ is too important to every forget. But men have forgotten.
What do we memorialize? We scrapbook and we “smash” book and we do family videos so that we don’t forget our family history. On holidays we gather from all places to share meals and memories. Some moms and wives are especially good at cooking at assembling a tantalizing spread of food that keeps sons and sons-in-law coming back. These are important times when the small children, the grandchildren, watch and listen and learn about the family of which they are a part. Traditions like this are important for developing connections and a sense of well-being and security in those who will be the next generation.
It is important for believers in Jesus Christ to live in such a way, to give in such a way, to pray in such a way that our lives are a memorial to God. Hebrews 11 is God’s memorial to great people of faith. Jesus said Mary’s precious ointment would be spoken of wherever the Gospel was proclaimed in memory of her, Mt 26:6ff. The angel spoke to to Cornelius and said the very prayers of this yet unwashed Gentile arose before God’s throne as a pleasing memorial, Acts 10:4. Only by faith in Jesus Christ do we die a death to self, being living sacrifices to God, proving what is pleasing to God, Rom. 12:1ff.
Hopefully we will never forget those who have given their lives so that we enjoy our unprecedented freedom in America. And even more importantly, may we never forget the great act of God almost 2,000 years ago on Mt. Calvary. Jesus died for you. Commemorate it every Sunday at the Church of Christ. Live it and proclaim it to others. Share that good news with your children and with your friends. This is the root of saving faith. Live so that your own life is a memorial to God.
Here is my complete sermon outline on the topic: http://sdrv.ms/LyLo0v