Just yesterday I heard a teacher talk about asking a class of students, “What does Memorial Day mean to you?” She was surprised with the answers. “No school!” “We go camping!” “You remember people.” “We’ll go to the cemetery.”
Today as we explained things to our kids, I thought about the question. We didn’t have school, but we didn’t go camping either. We made our yearly trip to the cemeteries and remembered ones we miss. But I’ve also thought about things in a new way - earlier on the radio, the DJ was talking about paying tribute to the soldiers who have fought and sacrificed for our freedom. Ultimately that is what the day is about - honoring those who have fallen on our behalf. I thank God for the soldiers who have served and for those who continue to fight, protect and put their lives at risk today.
Then as he spoke of soldiers he took things a step further and reminded listeners that we are soldiers of Christ. Yes there is another battle going on and it’s not just in a foreign country; the LORD’S army is battling on US ground as well.
These thoughts have been on my mind and I’ve found myself turning to prayer. My 3 year old keeps calling it “memory” day and I’ve been asking God to help me remember. I don’t want to forget what others have done for me, the lives that have been lost, so I might be free. I want to remember the people who’s names are etched on the tombstones we’ve visited. I’ve asked God to help me share stories so my kids will remember their grandparents, a cousin, friends and neighbors.
As I was praying, God brought to mind the most important person I must remember - He was a soldier and a friend. He fought an opponent bigger than any army has ever faced; He defeated death itself. The victory He won, set me free; His life was lost, so I might live. But He was more than a warrior, He is a compassionate friend. On Memorial Day, I pause and remember all He’s done, the lives He’s touched and the difference He has made. And I’m humbled to pay tribute to Jesus - the ONE who lost His life for me!
I want to ask, "What does Memorial Day mean to you?"