Summary: Memorial Day is more than a day to honor fallen heroes; it is a day to honor the risen Lord.


Bible Teaching Ministry of


Thomasville, NC

a fellowship of faith, family and friendships


May 30, 2004

13And again, “I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM.”

Hebrews 2:13 (NASB)

Memorial Day is for remembering. The older I get the more remembering becomes harder – and easier. It’s harder if you’re talking about where I left my keys, or why I walked into a room. According to one survey:

· 83% of people forget names quickly.

· 60% forget where they put something important

· 57% forget vital telephone numbers

It’s easy to forget stuff![1]

However, remembering gets easier when it comes to sacrifice. For some folks (including me) it takes “a little age on you” to appreciate this precious life we enjoy. The older I get, the more I understand the magnitude of sacrificing so that others might live. It is big!

Big things tend to stay in your memory. There is a big, or rather humongous flag etched in my mind. Of course it is the symbol of American freedom…our flag.

The flag flying over Baltimore Harbor at Ft. McHenry in 1814 would have covered all of our choir loft. It was there, the morning after an attack on American soil that Francis Scott Key wrote our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. The flag, flying from a 189’ pole, was so big it could be seen waving in the breeze from 10 miles out to sea.

Perhaps, in your mind’s eyes you can see the haze of smoke from bombs bursting in air. All through the night the flashes illumined a flag which proclaimed our freedom – still intact! By dawn’s early light that flag was still waving over a free people; the flag declared the sacrifice of men’s lives as the evidence of the re-birth of freedom for the coming generations.

The question is what held up the flag? The answer is found (in a physical sense) when you go into one of the barracks at Ft. McHenry and dig down 9 feet in the ground. There you will find two massive oak timbers, eight feet long, joined at their centers, forming a cross. This pedestal is what anchored the 63 yard long flagpole. The anchor was unseen, but provided a firm foundation for the flag.

If you look for a deeper meaning than the physical, you have to consider the spirit of freedom that has elevated ordinary men and women to be extraordinarily brave in the face of insurmountable odds throughout more than two centuries.

Another question then must be asked, what holds up that spirit? The Declaration of Independence says we have been created by God. The spirit of freedom came from the One Who breathed the breath of life into man. He put it there, and we, ordinary human beings, created to be the crown of God’s creation, are pulled toward magnificent acts of unusual self-sacrifice as we respond to the freedom placed inside us.

Today is not only a memorial for fallen heroes; it is a monument to the risen Hero, Jesus. Today is the birthday of Jesus’ church. Pentecost is 50 days after Easter Sunday, the day when the fire of God’s Spirit fell on ordinary men who served an extraordinary Lord.

A memorial looks back and honors the sacrifice. Pentecost looks forward to the coming of the risen sacrificial Lamb of God. Both are a matter of trust.

In memorializing our fallen heroes we trust that the cause was just in the sight of God, and that their gift of sacrifice to us was not in vain.

In looking forward to the coming Lord of Glory we say with the writer to Hebrews: “I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM.”[2]


[1] Karen Bolla, John’s Hopkins Institute.

[2] Hebrews 2:13 (NASB)

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