Summary: What will our personal living memorial bring to remembrance? Be sure your life is a memorial that won’t leave any doubt in minds of anyone where to follow you in eternity!
A Living Memorial
Text: Selected texts
Tomorrow is Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, it is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays.) [from www.memorialday.org]
I. The Importance of Remembering
A. The Lord also gave us His memorials:
Passover feast to remind the children of Israel of their sojourn from captivity
River stones to memorialize the Ark of the Covenant crossing of the Jordan River
Scriptures, dozens of examples of remembrance in the bible
Lord’s supper-“…do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24-25
B. It is important that we have days like Memorial Day to bring ourselves to remembrance of those things which are worthy of being remembered. We have many ways to memorialize that which we feel is important:
1. We have private memorials:
-Scrapbooks, diaries, photo albums, videos, websites
2. We have public memorials, often landmarks:
-Dams, bridges, highways, libraries, schools, and websites
All these things done so that we will be in remembrance of the importance of these past events or people.
II. Our Lives As A Memorial
I’d like you to consider this morning what kind of memorial you are building with your life, your personal living memorial. Each of us is building one, whether consciously or not, it is happening. For our family, our friends, our co-workers, the brethren; we are building a memorial that will remain after we are gone. I’d like to suggest today a plan for the construction of our personal living memorial.
A. Foundation of God’s Word
1. There is only one thing in our world that has always been constant, never-failing, never-changing, and always true. The only thing in this world that can always be relied upon is the inerrant word of God.
a. read 2 Timothy 2:15
The word of truth is the word of God, the good news of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the scriptures which Timothy had received as a child from his mother and grandmother.
b. read Acts 17:10-12
The scriptures searched by the Bereans would have been the books of the Old Testament, those prophecies which foretold and were fulfilled by Jesus. They searched them to confirm that which Paul and Silas spoke of was true and in finding the truth in the word of God, they believed.
3. read John 20:30-31
The entire purpose of the prophecies of the Old Testament, the word of God, was to point to Jesus as the fulfillment of the old law. The purpose of the book of John was to document the truth of that fulfillment in the life of Jesus, so that we might believe.