Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever. Psalm 28:9
This Memorial Day is going to be a little different from years past. While Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day) was started to honor the Union soldiers that died during the Civil War, it later became a day to honor all the men and women who died in U. S. military service. Today, many people link Memorial Day with family cookouts, the opening of swimming pools, and the unofficial start of summer. This year will be a little different as some will be getting their hair cut or hair done because hair salons are able to open back up on Monday. While COVID-19 has really thrown a wrench into so many normal activities, it might give us an opportunity to think more specifically about why Memorial Day was started.
I am thankful to be an American and I’m thankful for those who have served, fought, and died serving in our armed services. While there are plenty of things we might find fault with in America and there are certainly many divisive issues, I think most of us are proud of what America has stood for since her humble beginnings. Our country, and particularly our armed forces, have fought around the world to defend human rights, promote freedom, stand against tyrants, and often to protect the lives of the most vulnerable.
I think most Americans recognize that God has truly blessed our land. We have been blessed with men and women who have been willing to serve and even sacrifice their lives to defend and promote the virtues that we stand for as Americans. Many of the values that we hold dear as a country and our military has defended so fiercely, were modeled by our Lord Jesus. As Americans, we should take time to recognize and honor so many who gave their lives in defending these Christian values.
As we approach Memorial Day, I am also reminded of many faithful servants of the Lord whom I’ve had the privilege of crossing paths with in my lifetime. When I think back about so many who have gone to be with the Lord, I can’t help but thank God for the hope He gives us through Jesus Christ. I’m so thankful that this life isn’t all there is. I’m thankful that Jesus has prepared a place called heaven where we will be with Him forever. He has graciously prepared a way for us to go to heaven through His sacrifice on the cross.
Thinking about the history of American and considering some of the moral freefall we have seen in recent decades, I pray that God would send a great spiritual awakening to our land and call us back to His principles. I’m praying that this COVID-19 crisis reminds us of our vulnerability, our frailty and our need for a Savior. Wouldn’t it be awesome for God to send a great awakening and people come to faith in Jesus. I want to be apart of an awakening of the Lord. Let’s seek the Lord through prayer, fasting and confession of our sins. Let’s plead with God to stir the hearts of America towards Himself!
I’m so excited about being able to gather in person this Sunday. For no other reason than to be able to worship together as the family of God, this weekend is going to be a memorial weekend. Again, we thank God for those who have served (and are serving), fought, suffered, and died for us as Americans. We pray for the future of America. We labor for the spread of the Gospel throughout America and around the world.