Monday is Memorial Day. There will be celebrations and services all around our country as we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our land. But Memorial Day has become both more and less than a day of rememberance. Too many in our land will enjoy a long weekend with no regard for the reason. Others will expand the celebration to include all those who have served our country buy who have since died. I have no problem with those who desire to honor the memories of all who have served our land. We as a country do too little to express our appreciation to those of every generation who have served in defense of our nation. Honor and sacrifice are dying concepts in our culture, and we are a poorer people because of it. We would do well to resurrect the committment to the greater good that has been driven from our homes, schools, churches, and government. This greater good has been replaced by a selfishness that runs far too deep in American culture.
I do have issues with the millions of Americans who will celebrate the holiday with no thought to its meaning. They will gather to eat (and unfortunately, drink to excess) and laugh and relax. Too few will pause to consider those who gave their lives to preserve that privilege. Others will shop, feeding the cancer of materialism that is eating away at the core of our national soul. Celebrations and rememberances will be all too brief and none too heartfelt. Ingratitude is the fruit of selfishness, and America has a bumper crop.
We have so much to be grateful for yet I fear we have forgotten the cost of our freedom, our wealth, and our leisure. I want to say to the families of those who have fallen in the defense of our freedom a heartfelt thank you. The sacrifice of your loved one(s) has not been forgotten and will not be wasted, at least not by this man and his family.
The church is in danger of forgetting those who have given their lives for her benefit at well. Throughout the years millions have been martyred because of their faith in Christ. Missionaries and believers of every stripe have shed their blood for the advance of the gospel. They would not desire or feel worthy of celebrations in their honor, but the church would do well to remember their sacrifice as well as the ultimate sacrifice paid by our Lord and Savior.
But they are not the only heroes I wish to remember. Those faithful servants who lived simple lives filled with the Spirit need to be remembered as well. The faithful followers who sang in the choir, received the offering, taught the children, gave of their time and money to minister to others are heroes as well. They had names like Troy, Cliff, Mildred, and Gordon. My life would not be what it is without them. I remember them this weekend and give thanks to the God who saved them and gave them a heart for one like me.
I challenge all believers this weekend to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and to also remember those who gave their lives for our Savior. Pause this weekend to offer a prayer of thanks and perhaps even a word of thanks to those whom we are blessed to have with us still.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.