Earlier today I was in Wal-Mart and noticed various people with cemetery wreaths in their cart. It reminded me that this coming Monday is Memorial Day. For many people, this day signifies a long weekend and the unofficial start of summer. Yet for others, this day is set aside to visit the gravesite of a loved one, decorate their headstone, and pay respects.
A DAY TO REMEMBER
This day originated as Decoration Day after the end of the Civil War. A group of Union veterans established this day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the fallen Union soldiers. At that time, both the Union and the Confederate had their own day for remembering their soldiers. By the 1900’s these days merged and eventually became known as Memorial Day – a day set aside to remember the men and women who had shed blood and sacrificed their life for our freedom – freedom to worship, freedom to speak our opinions, freedom to get an education, marry, the list is endless. The month of May was chosen due to the fact flowers were in bloom and, consequently, it allowed people to bring their best flowers to place on the headstones of their loved ones.
I saw an article pop up on Google today titled “Five Ways to Observe Memorial Day.” It included visiting the graves of a loved one, flying a flag, thanking a Veteran, visiting a war memorial and wearing a red poppy.
DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME
As Christians, the most important memorial is that of Jesus Christ. He, too, shed His blood and sacrificed His life so we could be free. Through His Word, we have instructions on how to remember Him. He tells us to remember Him through Communion on the first day of every week. We are told to “Do this in remembrance of Me.” Yet there are countless other ways to remember His sacrifice: loving our neighbors, spreading the gospel, forgiving others, and keeping His commandments.
Obviously, there are similarities between Memorial Day and daily remembering our Savior. Yet there are many differences.
1. For Christians, there will be a day where there is no more death.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. – Revelation 21:4
2. Countless men and women have lost their lives to give us freedom here on earth, yet One Man gave His life so we could have life to the fullest.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:10
3. Jesus is no longer in the grave.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. – Matthew 28:5-6
HE DEMONSTRATES HIS LOVE
Like you, I’m so thankful I live in the land of the free and the brave. I pray I never become complacent to the fact men and women fought for my freedom. More importantly, I pray I never take for granted the fact that Christ gave His life so I would have life to the fullest.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
And because of His death, and His resurrection, I am truly free.