Summary: We gather here today in solemn respect to decorate the graves of our loved ones. Men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might know peace in our lifetimes.
Legion Decoration Day 2016
Eulogy: Pastor Mark Aarssen
Ecclesiastes 3:1- 8 New International Version (NIV)
A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
The sacred scriptures tell us that there is a time for everything under the Heavens. Today we quietly gather at a time of peace to recognize these brave souls who were willing to stand in our place during a time of war. We gather here today in solemn respect to decorate the graves of our loved ones. Men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might know peace in our lifetimes. They fought and won for us a peace that was denied them but one that we have rested in and that we have long enjoyed.
Here their names are engraved in stone but for many of us their names remain engraved upon our hearts and our conscience. They were in every respect ordinary men and women who through the trials of war and conflict proved themselves extraordinary; each one our betters.
Not all have returned to this sacred soil to lie at rest in this field of honor. So many lie in foreign fields of conquest in unmarked graves known only to their Creator.
Some of their names may be lost to us but their courage and valor are known to the new generations birthed by their heroic sacrifice.
We pause today to thank our God and Creator for men and women such as these. Souls who knew the love of parents or a spouse. Souls who knew the embrace of brothers and sisters. Souls who once felt the gentle embrace and loving touch of their children. Men and women who were busy going about life making plans for the future who willingly exchanged their plans for the cause of peace. They lie here distinguished by their service as brothers and sisters in arms and as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Standing here are their loved ones and their friends who can attest to their faith who knew their Christian character and charity.
John 15:13 King James Version (KJV)
13 Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
It is our prayer that these honored souls rest in the eternal embrace of the Saviour who is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. While we wait with them for that glorious day of His appearing we trust that there are those who like St. Paul can say…
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV
We wait with them for that glorious day and if it not be too selfish some of us here pray that it might be today. That we might collectively be caught up from this place at this time to know that Eternal Peace held out to us by the One Most Valiant and the One Most Worthy of Praise – our Saviour Jesus Christ.
For it is Jesus who has won for all of us that Eternal victory conquering sin and death that we might live in His glorious presence by putting our faith and hope in Him.
If it not be today than we must comfort one another and as the scripture says recognize this day as a time to embrace, and as a time to weep, and as a time to mourn.
But we do this knowing that a time to laugh and a time to dance will come at that great reunion with the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ and until that time arrives we will gather here in the bonds of love to decorate this place to so honor our loved ones resting here.
May they rest in peace – Amen.