Summary: This week as I sat at my desk, I asked myself – what does Jesus want us to remember about Him as we take communion? FRIENDS – I thought long and hard on this. AND – in our time remaining I’d like to share with you what I came up with…
There’s a story about a guy from the city who was visiting relatives on a farm and the farmer gave a whistle and his dog herded the cattle into the corral, then latched the gate with her paw. "Wow, that’s some dog. What’s her name?" The forgetful farmer thought a minute, then asked, "What do you call that red flower that smells good and has thorns on the stem?" "A rose?" "That’s it!" The farmer turned to his wife. "Hey Rose, what do we call this dog?"
QUESTION – can you relate? I MEAN … do you ever have trouble forgetting things? LIKE - your keys?, Wallet? Checkbook? a telephone number you’ve written down? someone’s name? a birthday or an anniversary? NOW - everyone forgets at one time or another, according to Karen Bolla, a John Hopkins University researcher. These are the things people most often forget;
• where something is
• telephone numbers
• what was said
YOU KNOW - it’s been said that there are really only 3 kinds of memory - good, bad and convenient.
There were 3 widows who living together in Florida who had bad memories. One sister got up to go to bed, half way up the stairs she stopped and asked "was I going up or was I coming down"
One sister replied with hint of aggravation, "you were going up to bed." A second sister headed into the kitchen to make herself a sandwich. Once in the kitchen she hollered back to her sister who was still down stairs; "what did I come in here for"
The sister responded again with a trace of irritation, "you went in to make yourself a sandwich" after which she said; "I’m so glad I am not as forgetful as the both of you are" as she knock on the end table. And then she got up and walked over to the door and said "Who is it?"
Yes, we are a forgetful people. And from my vast experience I have concluded that forgetfulness is not a respecter of age. And therefore we come up with all kinds of ways to help us remember; (string around finger; post it notes, day planners, memory courses, neon signs)
This weekend is the observance of a very special holiday in our country, Memorial Day. AND - contrary to popular practice and understanding this day means much more than: cook outs, boating, beach trips, BBQ’S, pool openings, or 4 day weekends.
NOW - I’m not saying that those things are bad… IN FACT - they are all fine and good, BUT - memorial day has a much deeper meaning… YOU SEE – tomorrow is a time set aside every year, to both remember and honor those men & women who have died, who have given the ultimate gift, their life’s in battle for our country.
(I for one, would love to be DC tomorrow as they officially dedicate the WW II memorial)
In April 1863, in Columbus, Mississippi after decorating the graves of her two sons who served during the Civil War as Confederate soldiers, an elderly woman also decorated two mounds at the corner of the cemetery. An observer asked, “What are you doing? Those are the graves of two Union soldiers.” Her reply was, “I know. I also know that somewhere in the North, a mother or a young wife mourns for them as we do for ours.” [This lady and a few others] set in motion what became known as Memorial Day.
Which become a national holiday in 1971.
I love this country. AND – I don’t care whether it is politically correct or not… BUT – like the Lee Greenwood song says, ‘I’m proud to be an American.” I’m proud of what this country represents, what it stands for and what it was found on – a belief in God and that all men are created equal.
I’m proud to be a citizen of a country that is not just great but that is good. No – we are far from perfect but there is no country like this one. I MEAN – it’s awesome to part of a country that helps so many other countries around the world.
AND – though I take it for granted most of the time – I am grateful for the freedom that we have. AND – for the men who have died over the last 228 years so that you and I can be free today. Freedom has a cost…
• Revolutionary War - 4,435
• War of 1812 – 2,260
• Civil War – 498,332
• WW I – 116,516
• WW II - 405,899 (283 every day)
• Korea – 36,516
• Vietnam – 58,198
• Gulf War (1991) – 338