Summary: As we celebrate Memorial Day, let us pause to remember the help that God has provided for us in the past. This sermon uses stones as a visual reminder of God’s help
A Memorable Reminder: Memorial Day 2007 Joshua 4:1-9; 21-24 CBC May 26, 2007
Opening Worship Joke:
A motorcycle patrolman was rushed to the hospital with an inflamed appendix. The doctors operated and advised him that all was well. However, the patrolman kept feeling something pulling at the hairs on his chest. Worried that it might be second surgery the doctors hadn’t told him about, he finally got enough energy to pull his hospital gown down enough so he could look at what was making him so uncomfortable.
Taped firmly across his hairy chest were three wide strips of adhesive tape, the kind that doesn’t come off. Written in large black letters was the sentence, “Get well quick..... from the nurse you gave a ticket last week."
There’s a story about a city fellow who was visiting relatives on a farm and the farmer gave a whistle and his dog herded the cattle into the corral, and then latched the gate with her paw.
"Wow, that’s some dog. What’s her name?" The forgetful farmer thought a minute, and then asked, "What do you call that red flower that smells good and has thorns on the stem?" "A rose?" "That’s it!" The farmer turned to his wife. "Hey Rose, what do we call this dog?"
There are times when we humans can we be quite forgetful. Been there, done that, haven’t you? What is your worst happening of forgetfulness? Did you ever get in your car, reach for your keys and didn’t have them? Or you couldn’t remember your own phone number or house number? Or the street where you lived? Or the names of some of your children?!
This weekend is known as Memorial Day Weekend. It is filled with cookouts, the Indianapolis 500 or the Coca Cola 600, parades and many other special observances. Yet what is Memorial Day and what should we do on Memorial Day. The dictionary defines a memorial as the following:
1) Anything intended to preserve the memory of a person or event; something, which serves to keep something else in remembrance; a monument. –Macaulay
2. Something, such as a monument or holiday, intended to celebrate or honor the memory of a person or an event.
We view Memorial Day as an opportunity to reflect and remember those who fought for our country and died while protecting this country from harm. Memorial Day started out known as Decoration Day. The beginning of Memorial Day started in part to a group of ladies who were committed to placing flowers on the graves of confederate soldiers after the ending of the civil war. One story that is told of the start of Memorial Day happened in 1863 in Columbus Mississippi. A mother had gone to place flowers on the graves of her two sons who had served during the Civil war as Confederate Soldiers. After placing flowers at those graves, it was then noticed that this woman went to the far corner of the cemetery where there were mounds built up signifying where several Union soldiers had been buried. Not knowing anything about this individuals the mother placed flowers on those mounds capturing the spirit of what Memorial Day is all about. The story has been passed down that someone asked the mother what she was doing placing flowers on the graves of Union soldiers. He said you should know better than that. To which the mother replied. “I know that these are graves for the Union soldiers. And I also know that somewhere in the North there is a mother or a young wife who is mourning for her children as I am mine and therefore I place these flowers here to remember them as I remember my own sons as well.
Through those actions, those groups of ladies started what has turned out to be a special holiday known as Memorial Day. It is a day that is set aside for us to remember those who gave their lives in the armed forces.
And as we celebrate Memorial Day weekend, I want to share with you another thing that we should remember in our lives. Memorial Day is to be a day that is set aside not just to remember what our military has done but to also serve as a reminder to what the Lord has done in our lives.
A memorial helps us keep a memory of something significant that has happened alive in our hearts and minds. In a Biblical sense a memorial is a sacrifice, a monument or an event that brings us into remembrance of something that God has done. God knew we would have a tendency to forget, that often times we suffer from spiritual amnesia or Alzheimer. And so God encourages us to have memorials. To not live in the past but to remember the past and to celebrate the past through memorials.