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RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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A. What do you think of when you think of Memorial Day - the beginning of summer vacation, barbecues in the back yard, family get-togethers?
In most churches Memorial Day is ignored because it is not one of the holy days on the church calendar. But I believe that it would be good for us to consider what Memorial Day really represents, for its very name calls us to remember.
The ability to remember is a wonderful gift God has given us. In a flash we can be a child again, skipping rocks across a pond, or walking in a meadow. Through memory we can fall in love, get married, & enjoy our children all over again. All this is possible through the blessing of memory.
Some of our memories are happy as we recall wonderful experiences. But some are sad, & we may weep as we remember them.
Memories are also very practical. If we couldn’t remember that a red light means “stop” we’d be in trouble. If you weren’t able to remember what day it is, or your anniversary or wife’s birthday – you’d be in big trouble. So memories are practical.
B. The problem, though, is that sometimes memory fails us. Sometimes we forget.
ILL. Maybe you have heard about a guy named John who had a serious memory problem. One day John ran into a friend he had not seen in a long time. He greeted him & said, “Bill, do you remember what a bad memory I had?”
Bill answered, “Yes, I certainly do.” “Well, it’s not bad any more. I went to a seminar that taught us how to remember things. It was great, & now I have a wonderful memory.”
Bill answered, “That’s great! What was the name of the seminar?” “Well,” John said, “wait a minute, my wife went with me. I’ll ask her.” He turned & saw his wife nearby.
Then he turned back to Bill & said, “What’s the name of that flower with a long stem & thorns & a red bloom?” “Do you mean a rose?” Bill answered. “Yeah, thanks,” John said. “Hey, Rose, what’s the name of that seminar we attended?”
There are events that we should never forget. And Memorial Day commemorates some of them.
This special day started near the end of the Civil War. And within a few years the practice of placing flowers on military graves had spread throughout both the north & south & was being called by almost everyone, “Decoration Day.”
Then, after WW1 it became a national holiday dedicated to remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms that we enjoy.
And it is also a day upon which we remember our loved ones who have gone on before.
C. But people tend to be forgetful, & we seem to need helps to jog our memories. In the Bible we find that God has given us many such reminders.
After God destroyed the earth in a flood, He told Noah, “I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11)
Then God stated, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, & it will be the sign of the covenant between me & the earth.” (Genesis 9:13) So every time we see a rainbow, it serves as a reminder of God’s promise.
Another memorial was erected when Joshua led the people of Israel across the Jordan
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