Luke 22:19b “Do this in remembrance of me.”
Last weekend, we drove up to Bass Lake in California to spend Memorial Day weekend with my father and my brother’s family. A trip to the lake always includes attending the Sunday Worship service at my dad’s church, where we are honorary members. This “Little Church in the Pines” of the Sierra Nevada mountains proclaims that the "Five things that we were made for" are Magnification, Ministry, Maturity, Membership and Mission.
Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer vacation season in America. Graduations and people gathering for family get-togethers and picnics for this three-day holiday weekend. But, Pastor Herk asks: “What is it that comes to mind when you hear the term “Memorial Day”? Memorial Day is a Federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan issued a proclamation calling for "Decoration Day" to be observed annually and nationwide; he was commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, the veterans' organization for Union Civil War veterans. With his proclamation, Logan adopted the Memorial Day practice that had begun in the Southern states three years earlier. The first northern Memorial Day was observed on May 30, 1868. It is a day that is set aside as a reminder annually to honor the individuals that paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country to defend our freedom and liberty. Many have Memorial Day serve to commemorate family members who have gone to be with the Lord before us by decorating their graves with flowers.
Isaiah 50:4 “The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.
But, let us not forget that memory itself is a gift of God. It is truly a blessing to have the ability to remember and think back on pleasant events in our lives. Even remembering struggles and losses in our lives can be a blessing to us as trials teach and strengthen us by experience for growth and maturity. We tend to forget, so established holidays serve as a reminder to us. God has set multiple signs as reminders for us to help us remember His Providence towards us. In Genesis 9:11-13, he gave us the rainbow as a reminder of His promise. In Joshua 4, the Lord told Joshua to have the Priest take twelve stone from the miraculously damned Jordan River’s flood waters and set them as a reminder for future generations of that day. Leviticus 23 refers to the seven Jewish festivals, literally “appointed times,” also called “holy convocations.” These were days appointed and ordained by God to be kept to the honor of His name. Beginning in the spring, the seven Jewish feasts are Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Firstfruits, the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. These were lasting perpetual ordinances to remember God. The feasts often began and ended with a “Sabbath rest,” and the Jews were commanded to not do any customary work on those days.
Let's continue Pastor Herk's Memorial Day message in the next post.
In Christ, Brian