Summary: Patriotic sermon used for Memorial Day, or modifed for other patriotic events. Deals with issues still worth fighting for as Christians. Interesting statistical illustration of all those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
Title: Don’t Be Afraid, Remember the Lord 05/26/02
Text: Nehemiah 4:14,20 A.M. Service
Purpose: Memorial Day sermon dealing with those issues that are worth fighting for as a Christian.
“So to the indifferent inquirer who asks why Memorial Day is still kept up we may answer, it celebrates and solemnly reaffirms from year to year a national act of enthusiasm and faith. It embodies in the most impressive form our belief that to act with enthusiasm and faith is the condition of acting greatly. To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your might. So must you do to carry anything else to an end worth reaching”1 (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
Each year, on the last Monday in May, our nation celebrates Memorial Day. For many, this day carries no special meaning except perhaps an extra day off from work, a beach barbecue, the start of the summer travel season, or for merchants, the opportunity to hold their annual Memorial Day Weekend sale. In reality, the holiday is observed in honor of our nation’s armed service personnel who were killed in wartime.
The custom of honoring the graves of the war dead began prior to the end of the Civil War, but the National Memorial Day holiday was first observed on May 30, 1868, on the order of General John Alexander Logan for the purpose of decorating the graves of the American Civil War dead.
With the passage of time, Memorial Day was extended to honor all those who died in service to the nation, from the Revolutionary War to the present. It continued to be observed on May 30th until 1971, when most states changed to a newly established federal schedule of holiday observance.
(While this is being read, or stated, on the screen is a listing of the following facts)
Facts and Figures2
Revolutionary War (1775-1783) War of 1812 (1812-15)
Served: No data Served: 286,730
Death: 4,435 Battle Deaths: 2,260
Wounded: 6,188 Wounded: 4,505
Mexican War (1846-1848) Civil War (1861-1865)
Served: 78,718 Served: 2,213,363
Battle Deaths: 1,733 Battle Deaths: 140,414
Other Deaths: 11,550 Other Deaths: 224,097
Wounded: 4,152 Wounded: 281,881
Spanish-American War (1895-1902) WWI (1917-1918)
Served: 306,760 Served: 4,734,991
Battle Deaths: 385 Battle Deaths: 53,402
Other Deaths: 2,061 Other Deaths: 63,114
Wounded: 1,662 Wounded: 204,002
WWII (1941-1946) Korean War (1950-1953)
Served: 16,113,566 Served: 5,720,000
Battle Deaths: 291,557 Battle Deaths: 33,651
Other Deaths: 113,842 Other Deaths: 3,262
Wounded: 671,846 Wounded: 103,284
Vietnam War (1964-1973) Gulf War (1991)
Served: 8,744,00 Served: 24,100
Battle Deaths: 47,378 Deaths: 162
Other Deaths: 10,799
Wounded: 153, 303
So what we find is that throughout the scope of history, there are causes for which we find it worthy to fight, and others, that seem to simply distract or vie for our attention. The key is know the difference. Upon what shall we spend our attention?
Today there are things that are still worthy of the fight.
A. freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
B. So where are the lines being drawn in today’s battle fields?
Battle Cry: Nehemiah 4:14 “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
Battlegrounds of Today
1. Our Homes
2. Our Schools
3. Our Churches
In the August 2001 issue of Dr. James Dobson’s magazine “Focus on the Family,” he discusses “The Family in Crisis.”3
“The decennial report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau in May contains alarming news on the condition of the family.
We have sensed for a long time that the traditional family is in serious trouble, and the recent Census revealed just how dire the situation has become. The alarming results show that households headed by unmarried partners (most of them involving people living together out of wedlock) grew by almost 72% during the past decade.
Households headed by single mothers or fathers increased by 25% and 62%, respectively, and for the first time ever, nuclear families dropped below 25% of households.
33% of all babies were born to unmarried women, compared to only 3.8% in 1940.
Other studies show that cohabitation increased by close to 1,000% from 1960 to 1998, and that households headed by same-sex couples are soaring.
We are seeing a growing number of unmarried women in their 20’s and 30’s who are choosing to bear and raise children alone.
Dr. Dobson Responds
“The results of this Census means that the institution of the family in unraveling at a faster pace than ever. They also indicate that the old taboos against divorce and cohabitation are disappearing, and that the culture is abandoning its commitment to lifelong marriage.
About half the children today will spend at least part of their childhood in single-parent homes, and tat number is rising steadily.