I believe there should be more than one “Memorial Day” each year. It seems that to most Americans it’s just another “Official Holiday,” the “unofficial start of summer,” the end of the school year, a cookout. Sure, there is the passing mention of those who have fallen in defense of our country. There are stories on the news programs and in the newspaper and more flags than usual might be seen. But it doesn’t seem like it is enough or that the majority of us really, truly consider its depth of meaning.
I also believe the same thing is true with regard to the greatest sacrifice ever made…the death of Jesus of Nazareth on the Cross of Calvary so long ago. The vast majority of people may claim to remember; yet they fail to celebrate and meditate on its importance. The first century church came together on a weekly basis to commemorate this great event with a memorial supper. Far too many who claim to be Christians today continue to observe this memorial.
The other day, I watched on as this year’s graduates from the United States Naval Academy received their diplomas. During the ceremony, the members of the graduating class were sworn into the Navy as Ensigns or into the Marine Corps as 2nd Lts. The new 1st Class Midshipmen then lead three cheers for “those who are about to leave us,” and the graduates, led by the class president, responded with three cheers “for those we leave behind.” On the last “hooray” of this cheer, the graduates tossed their midshipman caps into the air, to be recovered by spectators as mementos of the occasion.
This week, I watched as my oldest daughter finished her first year in college. The twins finished the 8th grade and will start the 9th. This week our seniors at Beltline graduated and will be making plans to for the next stage in their lives. Congratulations to all of our graduates!
All of these things have reminded me that as a Christian there are a few things I need to always keep fresh in my mind.
Love: The love of family, friends, country and most of all Christ and what He has done, is doing and yet will accomplish in my life.
Thanksgiving: for all of the above.
Memorial: For those who have gone on before and those we leave behind but most of all for the love of God and the greatest sacrifice man has known (or ever will).
Commitment: To be faithful! To family, the church and country. It is hard work…but it surely is and will be worth it all!
~Adapted from Tim Dooley