Summary: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray for those who will believe in me through their message, ...”
Remembrance and Glory
Call Ps. 97:1-6/May 24,1998
Introduction: Memorial Day Poem by Dick Gayan
Transition thought: Holidays are tough for me. They are tough because they are Holidays, and not Holy Days. Should they be Holy days? I believe so. But, In a secular society who is only interested in pleasure, the Holi in Holiday is all but lost. Many will use this long weekend for a long over due vacation. There is nothing wrong with that, but the preacher is left in a dilemma as to how to preach the gospel and not be considered un-American or unpatriotic.
THESIS SENTENCE: Our two text, I believe, may speak to the Idea of Memorial Day.
I. Our Gospel lesson starts with this phrase, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray for those who will believe in me through their message, ...”
A. This is a call to future generations to remember the past. The price that was paid and the example that was set.
1. It is also a call to remember the message. This is appropriate not only for Memorial Day, but for the whole proclamation of the Gospel.
2. Memorial Day was established in 1868 as a day to honor the fallen soldiers of the just concluded Civil War. It has grown to become a solemn recognition of all of our nation’s war dead and the high price of our freedom. Is this not the Gospel Message.
3. Is this not a call to remember why we have what we have. We are a blessed people. We live in a free country. We are not oppressed or forced to conform to some tyrannical rule as other nations are or have been. We belong to a country for and of the people.
ILLUSTRATION: THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS;
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. 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 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, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth. ABRAHAM LINCOLN NOV. 19, 1863
B. This is the gospel message. This is the truth that must be borne out in our lives this call to commitment, this call to devotion.
1. This call from the dead, as it were, to forge ahead, to move on in dedication to work begun. This is the call of our nation.
2. This is the call of our God. We are still a Nation Under God. He is our driving force. We must not let these dead have died in vain. They have left us this message.
II. Jesus prayer for his disciples was not only for them, but for all of us who will believe in Him through their message.
A. This resonates with me as we are called to remember those who have died since his death, to proclaim His message, to proclaim His freedom, or the freedom we receive from sin and death because of the battle that He fought and won.
1. I dare say, for those who have died fighting for the freedom of our Country, against the tyranny of sin and oppression, have followed the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2. The very reason we call Him Savior, one who saves another from destruction or injury, was the example that the men and women of our nation followed, even to their deaths.
The Gospel text for today also speaks of glory. Jesus states, “I have given them the glory that you gave me.” I was overwhelmed by this phrase. For on this day of Remembrance, is also a day of glory. Glory that comes from sacrifice. Glory, which is a radiance, a shining brightness comes at great price. Jesus received glory from the Father for obedience, even death on a cross.