Sermons

Summary: Memorial Day Message begins with a quote from President Lincoln, Gettysburg address. "redemptive love" comment from the Royal Wedding and how "love" is why Jesus gave his life for us ....commitment to service out of love.

In Jesus Holy Name May 27, 2018

Memorial Day Redeemer

"Remember, Don't Forget"

At Gettysburg, Lincoln said it: "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here... It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain." In one of the most profound declarations to which the English language has been applied, Lincoln said to his fellow countrymen: "Remember, don't forget."

Memorial Day services are conducted around the nation this week end. The bugler will play Taps. The flag will be on display. Men and women are wearing uniforms which had noticeably shrunk since they had been worn in service. The Color Guard shoots their volleys to honor their fallen comrades. The children scramble for the brass casings which they keep as a memento of the day. A flag is folded and handed to the family. It is an incredibly moving moment.

On one of our vacations Colleen and I visited the American cemetery at Normandy, France, which overlooks Omaha Beach. We walked through the cemetery. White crosses, row upon measured row. Five star Jewish markers were scattered through the field of green. The names of the fallen, June 6th, June 7th, June 8th…3000 names. Some white crosses had the simple words, “Known Only to God”. It was an emotionally moving experience.

It is a sad thing when people forget the important sacrifice that many men and women gave, as Lincoln would say…. “the last full measure.” War remains an admission that civilization's veneer is paper thin. War is an admittance that nations can still be swept away by a charismatic leader whose thoughts are dark and his heart still darker.

War remains because some have an unshakeable lust for power, a desire to dominate others whom they consider insignificant, and inconsequential. War remains as an acknowledgment that in the human heart and mind and soul there is a monstrous a great evil which sweeps aside all which ought to be good and honorable and peace loving in the human race.

If we forget long enough, we eventually end up convincing ourselves that the freedoms we enjoy, the blessings we have are a common thing, a totally natural thing, a thing far removed from the blood which was shed by someone else as an investment in us and for our future. Most of all we forget that there are some things, not many, but a few things which are so wrong, so evil, so horrible that it is worth a man's life to stop them and there are things, a few things so good that a man will give a last, full measure of devotion to win them.

Remember, don't forget. On January 11, 2002, Joe Foss, Medal of Honor winner, was held up by airport security when he tried to board a plane. Part of the reason was nobody was able to identify his Medal for what it was: the highest award the United States can give a member of the military. No matter the medal's engraving explained it had been awarded by President Roosevelt in World War II.

No matter Foss was going to show it to the cadets at West Point where he was to make a speech. The medal wasn't recognizable to the security personnel. If he had been carrying an Oscar, it would have caused no problem. It is time for us as a nation to remember and not forget.

On this Memorial Day Weekend we remember those who have served and those who have died to keep us free from the tyranny of dictators. We are to remember and not forget. The words of Abraham Lincoln still apply to our nation. “Remember and do not forget” also applies to the God who revealed Himself to the person of Jesus.

“For God so loved the world… The Creator of the Universe entered human history through the Virgin named Mary, born in Bethlehem, raised by his earthly father, Joseph, a carpenter in Nazareth so that human beings would understand God’s love. The Apostle John wrote: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God. This is love not that we loved God but that He love us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

At His baptism by John in the Jordan River and again on the Mt. of Transfiguration the disciples heard these words: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.

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