Summary: Memorial Day is a day to remember the soldiers that served our country. It is also a reminder of what God has done for each of us.
Stones of remembrance
Turn to Joshua 4:1-7
Tomorrow is Memorial Day.
A day that most have off to get with family and friends, have a cook-out , or just enjoy some down time.
I would guess that there is many who so not know what Memorial Day stands for or why we have off.
Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was established as a day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers from the Civil War.
The purpose was to not forget the sacrifice made by others for what we have today.
Memorial Day officially proclaimed in 1868, with a purpose of remembrance.
It was a time to be thankful.
I believe as time went on, more graves were not decorated, more people forgot about the sacrifices others made so they could enjoy freedom.
Dec. 2000, congress passed a “National moment of Remembrance”
“To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect.”
Congress later enacted a bill for Memorial Day to fall under the “National Holiday Act” and made it a 3 day weekend instead of a day of remembrance. (no wonder, most don’t know)
People have a way of forgetting! Especially in a country of great blessing!
We forget where we came from.
We forget we enjoy freedom on the back of those of great sacrifice.
So this morning, how do we remember the important things?
Where we came from as a nation?
Where we came from as a believer in Jesus Christ?
I don’t know about you, but as messed up as this country is right now, there is no place in the world that I would have wanted to be born in. it is still the greatest place to live.
I want to take a minute this morning to thank each person who has ever served this country to keep our freedom free and honor every man and women who has paid the ultimate sacrifice of their life that I can be free this morning.
I also want to say that if we don’t purposefully make it a point of remembrance, that things that were once important lose their place of value.
Book of Joshua gives us an account of the Israelites lead by Joshua going across the Jordan.
Details of crossing the river parallel Israel crossing the Red Sea to freedom from bondage.
Instructions given to Israelites from Joshua
When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, who are Levite carrying it, you are to move out to your positions and follow it.
Keep your distance of 1000 yards from the Ark
Consecrate yourselves (tonight) for tomorrow The Lord will do amazing things.
Consecrate meant that they must wash their clothes and their bodies and abstain for a time from sex and be consecrated (set apart) for God.
So Israel led by the Ark of the Lord crossed the Jordan on dry ground and as soon as the Nation of Israel crossed, as soon as the Ark of the Covenant was back on dry ground, the Jordan closed up and returned to flood stage
The problem is we forget!
Maybe you heard of the guy named John who had a serious memory problem. One day John ran into a friend he had not seen in a long time. He greeted him and said, “Bill, do you remember what a bad memory I had? Bill answered, yes, I certainly do. Well, it’s not bad any more. I went to a seminar that taught us how to remember things. It was great, and now I have a wonderful memory. Bill answered, that is great! What is the name of the seminar? Well, John said, wait a minute, my wife went with me. I’ll ask her. He turned and saw his wife nearby. Then he turned back to Bill and said, what is the name of that flower with a long stem and thorns and has a red bloom? Do you mean a rose? Bill answered yeah, thanks, John said. Hey Rose, what’s the name of the seminar we attended?
People tend to forget and we need help to jog our memory.
God needs to jog our memory. We need to help each other remember.
Asbury revival in 1970- many of my colleagues will never forget what God did in that Kentucky University. 40 years ago, and they still remember. God showing up at a prayer meeting and it lasting for weeks and they saw the power of God in action and in people lives.
Altersgate experience of John Wesley in London in 1738. Wesley attended a evening worship service which he did not want to be at, where God did something amazing that moved him deeply. He records in his journal “in the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Altersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while the leader was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strongly warmed. I felt I did trust Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.