Memorial Day

It's Memorial Day weekend.  Tomorrow, grills will be fired up.  Flags will be flown.  There will be parades in every city.    And, yes, people will also visit cemeteries. My Grandmother will no doubt pay a visit to the Maness family graveyard.  Her late husband and two of her brothers were World War II veterans.  She still calls it "Decoration Day."

Memorial Day was originally designated as a day to mourn Union Soldiers killed during the Civil War.  But soon the whole country was observing the day, remembering Union and Confederates alike.  Following World War I the day was expanded to include anyone killed while in the military service.  By the way, the nation's oldest annually held parade is the one in Portsmouth, and tomorrow our own Bob Kiser will be the Grand Marshal of the 125th event.

Scripture is full of opportunities to remember.  From the very beginning, it's clear that God understands our need to make sure we don't forget.  The Passover Feast is a remembrance of God's acts on behalf of the people of Israel.  It's a recollection of how God brought them out of Egypt.  Numerous times in the Old Testament, the people are commanded to remember where they have come from and Who has brought them.

Of course, the New Testament picks up the same theme with the Lord's Supper.  It used to be that just about every communion table I ever saw had Jesus' words, "Do this in remembrance of me," etched into its front.  Jesus takes the memorial service of the nation of Israel and creates with it a memorial service that can be observed by all of the people of God.

As most of you know by now, Rachel and I are out of town today.  Mike Dossett is very kindly stepping in.  He had some opportunities to preach while he was stationed in Germany.  I love it when our elders preach.  And not just because it means I'm getting a break.  I love it because it is an opportunity for the leaders of our church to speak to the congregation.  I don't know about you, but as one of the sheep, I need that.  I'll look forward to listening to Mike's message online.

In the meantime, pray for our safe travel, and I look forward to worshiping with you next Sunday.  Today, I hope you will have your own Memorial Day service.  I hope you will look back and remember all of the sacrifices that have been made for you.  I hope you'll remember those people who sacrificed in order to serve you: parents, friends, mentors.  And I hope you'll remember the one who paid the ultimate sacrifice to make us all children of God.

Just don't go looking to visit Him in a cemetery.  There is no grave to decorate.  As the angel said, "Why would you look for the living among the dead?"