Summary: A Memorial Day sermon to answer the question -- What makes freedom something to die for?
May 26, 2002
1All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers. 2And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. 4Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. 5Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. 6Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
7For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; 8A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; 9A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.
10When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. 11Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: 12Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 13And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 14Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; 16Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; 17And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. 18But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. 19And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. 20As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 8:1-20 (KJV)
Memorial Day is sometimes called Decoration Day. It is one of many celebrations in honor of our country’s history - in particular, the day we commemorate the valor and sacrifice of those who have died on the battlefield defending our freedom.
"On Memorial Day, people place flowers and flags on the graves of military personnel. Many organizations, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and fraternal groups, march in military parades and take part in special programs….Memorials are often dedicated on this day. Military exercises and special programs are held at Gettysburg National Military Park and at the National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia….Since the end of World War I, Memorial Day has also been Poppy Day. Volunteers sell small, red artificial poppies in order to help disabled veterans. In recent years, the custom has grown in most families to decorate the graves of loved ones on Memorial Day." *1
How many of America’s bravest have died in gaining and protecting our free way of life? According to the Veteran’s Administration,
- is the number of American service members killed on the battlefield since this nation declared independence nearly 226 years ago. You might understandably ask why so many have been willing to be in harm’s way down to the ultimate sacrifice. What is so important, so vital about America to evoke such patriotism, such loyalty? What makes us even remember? What is the cost of so great a concept as our freedom?