Memorial Day comes every year. It is often a date to look forward to on our calendars. When we are working, most of us have a Monday holiday. A welcome day off from the grind of going to work at least 5 days a week.
But that is not what Memorial Day was established to be. While it is a good thing to take that day off, it is not just so that we can sleep in and party.
There is nothing wrong with sleeping in, and there is nothing wrong with cook-outs, family gatherings, recreation, or any pursuits we may have for this day. But this day demands more. It demands thanksgiving. It demands remembrance. It demands honoring. It demands appreciation.
All throughout America’s history, wars have been fought and won. There have been a few where winning was not an option, because of political reasons, but for the military members who were involved, they still approached each conflict with winning in their hearts.
Winning is not always defeating the enemy. Winning is standing up for what one believes in, and watching one another’s backs. Winning is performing duties and representing patriotism. Winning is caring enough to put one’s life on the line in service to all that is loved.
We who observe Memorial Day have the obligation to show appreciation for those who have served and given their lives that we may live in freedom. While we certainly should have appreciation for them every day, it is also good to have corporate observance, that those who do not observe this day may come to do so.
By establishing a day to celebrate those who have given their all for this country, we bring it to prominence in the public domain.
We fly our flags, we wear red, white and blue shirts and hats, we attend celebrations and parades, we lay flowers and pay our respects in cemeteries across the land. And we pray. We pray for surviving family members, for those who are currently serving, and for those who will choose to serve in the future.
God our Father has spent countless hours on the battlefields where our fallen have spent their last hours. He has always been there, and will continue to be there, because He loves each and every one. Christian or not, brave or not, they are still fighting for us. They fight for our way of life, and for our rights to choose that way of life. They fight that we may have homes, we can work, we can achieve some form of the American Dream. All of them, each and every one, deserves our remembrance and appreciation, our heartfelt thanks.
Today, take the time to think about those who have died for our freedom. We often take that freedom for granted. We are free today to make our choices about where we live, what we do, and who we love. We are free to worship our Lord, or to not worship at all. We are free.
Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, spoke of peacemakers in the Beatitudes. He addressed peacemakers, but He did not state who they are. Peacemakers are those who attempt to establish peace. That would, of course, mean those who work to prevent wars, riots, and terror. They promote love and tolerance for differing views. And that is the mission of our military forces: to keep the peace, to prevent anarchy, to protect freedom, to save lives. Honor them today. Honor your God by honoring our freedom, because ultimately, they come by His hand. He uses the willing to bring peace, safety and prosperity to those who believe and for those who do not. He is God of all.
Appreciating our freedom means understanding and honoring sacrifice. Nothing that is won by selfishness has worth; sacrificial service gives worth to all things. Appreciate our freedom by honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 (NKJV)
What is it about Memorial Day that touches your heart? Will you celebrate it, or is it simply another day off? Please go to www.mystoryofgrace.com and tell us about your experience with this day of remembrance.