Good Morning Church! Let’s Try Really Hard Not To Say “Happy Memorial Day.”
It’s a point a good friend of mine made last week as she listed a few guidelines for her friends as we prepared for the Memorial Day weekend.
It’s something that had never occurred to me.
Saying Happy Memorial Day seemed the respectful thing to do until I really thought about the implications.
Honoring those who have fallen in battle is an ancient tradition but what we now call Memorial Day officially began as Decoration Day at the end of the Civil War.
Walking through the store aisles yesterday I was struck by how inappropriate the sparkling red white and blue decor seemed in preparation for what should be a somber observance.
I was assembling a display for my church to honor the families in our congregation that have lost an immediate family member in battle.
I had stopped to pick up some pictures I had printed and as I looked through my purchase I was stunned the person waiting on me had absolutely no reaction when I showed him the three portraits and said all three of these men died fighting for our country.
Don’t get me wrong I am not an advocate for turning back the clock to what Decoration Day use to be.
I can guarantee many of those who have died for our freedom would be thrilled to see you fully enjoying that freedom on a picnic or vacation with your family.
That is what they died for.
But make no mistake they died — for you — for the thing we call freedom.
And no where should the observance of Memorial Day be more important than in the setting of worship.
Worship that is possible because of the sacrifice of others.
All you have to do is watch the news of this past week to learn what freedom of religion looks like for a vast portion of the world.
At our congregation — over the last month — we have asked that anyone with an immediate family member who died in service to please allow us to honor their sacrifice.
We identified three gold star families.
If you would like to make this Memorial Day one you will never forget might I suggest you get to know these men (or some like them) and the lives they left behind for this place called America.
No Greater Love!
May 28, 2017