Today, our country has set aside some time we call “Memorial Day.” The day was originally called “Decoration Day,” a time to decorate the tombstones of fallen soldiers. Becoming a federal holiday in 1971, America chose to remember the sacrifices of those who had fought and died to defend our liberties, and to make the world a safer place. If we don’t consciously remember, we’ll ultimately forget the price that has been paid.
Unfortunately, today’s version of Memorial Day is sometimes nothing more than the kick-off for the summer, a time for outdoor activities, and perhaps a family bbq. Lost in the emphasis of the enjoyment of the moment are the empty places in homes across our country where a fallen soldier once sat with his family, with his children, with his parents.
My dad and granddad both served in the US Army. My granddad served during the Korean conflict and my dad served in Vietnam. I’m grateful they both came home…many did not. Compared to the other nations of the world, ours is relatively young – yet blessed. That blessing is from the Lord, but it is connected to previous generations willing to pay the price. Let’s remember them today!
In like manner, Memorial Day is an opportunity to reflect upon Christians, scattered throughout church history, who accepted martyrdom rather than renounce Christ. Burned alive, drowned, stoned, beheaded, hanged, crucified – so many atrocities they faced. Yet, today, because of their sacrifice, the gospel has traveled around the world and is still traveling today. Why? Because someone was willing to pay the price!
So, today, while we enjoy time with family – and we should – I challenge you to take a moment to remember…Remember, lest we forget the sacrifices that have been made so we could enjoy this day together.
Happy Memorial Day.