Summary: A sermon for Memorial day
What a strange memorial we find in our text! A stack of twelve large stones standing in a heap seems strange. They had been taken from the Jordan when Joshua and the Hebrews had crossed over the riverbed en route to Canaan. God had dried up the river so His people could cross over, as He had done at the Red Sea forty years earlier. Therefore, Joshua was instructed to leave the stack of stones as a remembrance for generations to come. When children yet to be born would ask their parents, "What do these stones mean?" they would be told of God’s mighty acts and be encouraged to reverence Him forever.
God’s ordering of this memorial is a solemn reminder of how prone our hearts are to forget. Occasionally our memories have to be prompted!
There was once a man a guy named John who had a really horrible memory. One day John ran into a friend whom he had not seen in a long time. He greeted him and said, "Bill, do you remember what a bad memory I had?" Bill answered, "Yes, I certainly do." "Well, it’s not bad any more. I went to a seminar that taught us how to remember things. It was a great seminar, and now I have a wonderful memory."
Bill answered, "That’s great! What was the name of the seminar?" "Well," John said, "Wait a minute, my wife went with me. I’ll ask her." He turned and saw his wife on the other side of the store. Then he turned back to Bill and said, "What’s the name of that flower with a long stem with thorns on it and has a red bloom?" "Do you mean a rose?" Bill answered. "Yeah, thanks," John said, "Hey, Rose, what’s the name of that seminar we attended?"
It is quite obvious from the Bible that remembering is something which is important to the Lord. He understands that we are prone to be forgetful.
It is interesting to note that the words "remember," "remembrance," and "memorial" are found more than 230 times in the Bible!
The Lord commanded his people in the O.T. to observe certain days as days of "remembrance."
They were to observe the Passover feast in remembrance of God’s deliverance of them from Egypt through the blood of the lamb.
In the N.T. as well, the church was given the ordinance of communion as a way to remember what Christ did for us on the cross.
Tomorrow is “Memorial Day.” It was set aside as a day to remember those who have lost their lives in cause of freedom! Yet, to so many it has become only another day off from work, another excuse to go to the lake and have a barbeque.
This morning, as we look at the subject of "remembering" I want to share with you 3 important things that we need to remember!
I. We Need To Remember The Soldiers Who Died For Our Freedom!
John F. Kennedy once said, “Let every nation know. Whether it wishes us well or ill....that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of LIBERTY!”
Jesus said in John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
In the Civil War, 365,000 Northern soldiers were killed, and 133,000 soldiers from the South died.
In World War I, 116,000 American soldiers were killed. In World War II, 407,000 died, 54,000 died in Korea, 58,000 in Vietnam, 148 in the Gulf War. And as of May 25th 1,648 American soldiers have died in Iraq and 185 in Afghanistan.
More than a million Americans have died in our wars, each one much loved by someone.
Everyone of those men and women paid the ultimate price in the support of and defense of our freedom! We are free today..... free to pray, free to worship, free to speak, free to assemble, free to vote because of their sacrifice.
These men and women are our real heros!
A. It is the soldier, not the theologian, who has secured our freedom of religion.
B. It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has secured our freedom of the press.
C. It is the soldier, not the protestor, who has secured our freedom to demonstrate.
D. It is the soldier, not the judge or the lawyer, who has secured our judicial system.
E. It is the soldier, not the entrepreneur, who has secured our economic opportunity.
F. It is the soldier, whose coffin is draped in the flag, who has secured freedom for those who wish to burn the flag.
A MAN IS NOT DEAD UNTIL HE IS FORGOTTEN. We must not forget those who have given their lives for freedom.