On This Memorial Day3
Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who gave their lives while serving in the US military.
General John Logan, a leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating, the graves of soldiers who died defending their country. This first celebration was held May 30, 1868, and named Decoration Day.
But one hundred years later in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established it as Memorial Day, to be held the last Monday in May. This was done in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. This change eventually went into effect in 1971.
This meaningful tradition gives us opportunity to recognize those who gave their lives for us, but it should also give us cause to be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy in America because of their sacrifice. We cannot begin to thank those who paid for our right to live in a free country.
To that I would like to draw a parallel…. Let us also on this day memorialize and reflect on the ultimate one who gave His life for us…Thanking Him for our freedom in Christ and the gift of eternal life. May we memorialize Him by giving our sacrifice of changed lives by trying to emulate Him. May we decorate the lives of others by showing love, respect and empathy to everyone with whom we come in contact. May we slow down and listen to our brothers and sisters, hold a hand, cry with, and serve just as He did.
If He were physically walking in our midst today, I don’t think He would be rushing to attend the next greatest event, checking His text messages or downloading the newest app. He would be spending time with us, living life, encouraging us and forgiving us in a gentle tender way. So this year on Memorial Day, as you decorate a grave in honor of a loved one, why not also memorialize Jesus by decorating the life of someone you know, by sharing the peace of Christ, by simply walking alongside him/her in life with kindness and in love and humility?