Summary: Remembering the dead and Honoring the living
INTRO: David Banner (Incredible Hulk), talking with a terminal cancer victim, told this story: “A man was running for his life from a tiger and he fell down a cliff but luckily got a branch as the tiger was pawing at him. He was about to let go (fall would survive, but live). He looked down to see a hungry tiger looking up as the branch was pulling out he noticed a plant and on this plant was a bright red strawberry. So he reached out and ate it, and oh, how good it tasted. That’s what we need to do
- reach out and taste the strawberries of life or stop and smell the roses. We will all die someday so we need to make the most of life.
TITLE: Remember the dead, honor the living, and avoid the pitfalls!
TEXT: I Cor. 11:23-26
I. Remember the dead.
A. Background on Memorial Day - Also called Decoration Day. It’s honoring U.S. citizens who have died in a war. Originally commemoration soldiers killed in the American Civil War, which later extended to all U.S. war dead.
National observance is marked officially by the placing of a wreath on the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Word memorial means to aid man’s memory.
B. Biblical examples of memorials.
1. Passover - Moses sent by God to free Hebrews, plagues sent, Pharaoh refuses. God sends death angel to kill first-born. Hebrews instructed lamb blood above door post so death angel pass by.
2. Lord’s Supper - Communion - I Cor. 11:23-26 (READ)
Memorial what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. Bread represents body which was broken for us. Juice represents his blood which washes away our sins (New Covenant).
C. Why are memorials important?
1. Heritage, roots - important to know where you came from, what your family was like (traditions).
ex Alex Haley “Roots”
Interesting: Adopted children desiring to know who their parents were, their heritage.
2. Memorials important - Learn from the past: Scholars tell us history repeats itself (meaning people keep repeating the same mistakes because they don’t learn from the past).
ex Old Testament (hard to read because it’s redundant) people get under bondage, cry out to God, God raises up a prophet, priest, king, judge. Nation draws closer to God, people become lax or leader dies off. People fall into sin and bondage, people cry out, God raises up someone.
3. Memorials important - Learn from the past: Reading or by listening to those older (experience).
Challenge us - books on martyrs or follow in parent’s footsteps.
a. Traditions - birthdays, anniversaries, special events.
* Memorials also help us remember people or things that changed our lives (very meaningful -markers so to speak, that we can fall back on in times of trouble).
D. When memorials are wrong.
1. When the dead become more important than the living or the things that stand as memorials are more important as the living.
ex Elvis Presley, every year - obsession.
ex…Relative treated the dead better than the living.
TS: It’s more important to honor the living than the dead.
II. Honor the living (some ways).