Memorial. The 1828 Dictionary offers this definition of the word.
Memorial, n. That which preserves the memory of something; any thing that serves to keep in memory. A monument is a memorial of a deceased person, or of an event. The Lord's supper is a memorial of the death and sufferings of Christ.
I love that definition. "That which preserves the memory of something." Hmm.
Today in this country we are celebrating Memorial Day - a day on which we "preserve the memory" of those who have died in the course of defending our country. We honor their memory with parades, with graveside ceremonies in cemeteries. We honor the memories of the fallen with our thanks and with our praise for their sacrifice . . . their ULTIMATE sacrifice.
Sacrifice. What have WE sacrificed? Our military has sacrificed much but what have WE presonally sacrificed? Hmm.
You know, for many in this country, today is just a day off from work. It's a day to party in a park someplace. A barbecue. A cooler full of beer. Maybe a softball game or a rummage sale. That's sad. Those things are NOT what this day is supposed to be about. Today should be about "preserving the memory" of those who have fallen.
I encourage you to visit a veterans memorial service today where you live. Honor those who have given their lives in battle. In my opinion, there could NEVER be enough memorials for the soldiers who gave it all while defending our rights. Especially our right to freedom OF religion, not FROM religion.
U.S. Military Chaplain, William T. Cummings once said in a field sermon during the 1942 Battle of Bataan, "There are no atheists in foxholes." Hmm.
Have you ever been in a battle, defending your faith? Many have died defending our country, but how many of us would die defending OUR faith? Is your faith that important that you would die defending it? It should be. I hope that I would be counted in that number.
Would you like to read some inspirational stories of those who have died for their faith. Read this book: Foxe's Book of Martyrs
To read more on-line about those who have martyred for their faith visit the Voice of the Martyrs web site.
On this day when we honor those who have died defending our country, let us also honor those who have died defending our right to worship our God. May we also remember the sacrifice HE made for us . . . on this day of remembering sacrifices. In His name, Amen.
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." - Jesus, John 15:13