Memorial Day is not a “church holiday” like Easter or Christmas, but we celebrate it in worship anyway. It’s a day to remember those who sacrificed their lives in times of conflict for the benefit of others, specifically us. It began in many towns as an unofficial day of remembrance after the Civil War, a war saw the greatest number of military casualties in our history. Families would gather and decorate the graves of fallen soldiers, both their own family and others buried in the local cemetery. It was a solemn occasion.
In 1971, it was declared a federal holiday. Gradually, since that date, it has become the unofficial beginning of summer. With cookouts, fireworks, and “Memorial Day Sales” the day has lost much of it solemnity.
Officially, there is a national moment of silence to be observed at 3:00 pm local time on Memorial Day. I’m not sure I ever remember being anywhere that it happened. I hope we aren’t forgetting what Memorial Day stands for.
As Christians, we worship the One who gave his life for our salvation. Because of Christ, we have hope today and in the future. This Memorial Day, let us take time to give thanks to Christ for his great sacrifice. Let us also remember those who also sacrificed—military members who have sacrificed their lives; families who have sacrificed a son, daughter, father, mother, spouse.
As we remember them, let us also remember the thousands who are still deployed in war zones. Pray for them. Pray for the families who wait at home. Pray for the leaders of the world that they may find a way to peace. Pray for our world that we may learn to live together as children of God.