To some Memorial Day is simply a day off work when we grill burgers, brats and hotdogs. But in reality it is much more than that! “Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.” (Wikipedia)
Remembering those who were willing to give their life for you shouldn’t take a special day. It shouldn’t have to be declared by a government to make it something special. However, it seems to be human nature to forget some of the most important events or people. We don’t mean to, we have the best intentions, but somehow it just happens that we forget.
Jesus knew human nature and understood our weaknesses. That’s why he instituted things in his church such as “Communion” or “The Lord’s Supper.” He knew that although we have the best intentions, we would eventually forget his sacrifice, unless we were constantly reminded.
The apostle Paul explains this memorial to us in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 in this way: “For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people, an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.”
I encourage you to celebrate Memorial Day. Celebrate the day that remembers those of our military who were willing to die that you might live free. But more than that, I encourage you to meet with your church, partake of Communion and remember the one who died that you might live free eternally.
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.