Summary: Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.
THE BASIS FOR SACRIFICE
INTRODUCTION: Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.
There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead"
While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868.
It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states.
The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May.
In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.
TRANSITION: Memorial Day remembers the sacrifices of those who have served our country. Those who have sacrificed everything for the freedoms you and I have today.
In order to accomplish this, to pay the ultimate price, to sacrifice, – there needs to be a basis for sacrifice. Several distinctives need to be evident:
1. There needs to be a genuine need.
2. There needs to be a dire consequence if we remain passive.
3. There needs to be a positive outcome or benefit.
4. There needs to be fundamental support.
5. There needs to be a desire to help.
I JESUS HAD A BASIS FOR HIS SACRIFICE
A There was a genuine need
1 God’s Creation was in trouble
Genesis 3:11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
2 Man had sinned
3 Death had entered into the world
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--
B There was a dire consequence
1 Separation from God now
Genesis 3:23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
2 Daily slavery to our sin nature
Romans 8:5-8 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.