Focus on Memorial Day

Reflect on the meaning of this day and give thanks, not only for the men and women who've given their lives for this country but also for Jesus, Who gave His life for us all.

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Focus on Memorial Day

He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19 (ESV)

My focus on Memorial Day used to be planning family gatherings. But once my husband and I moved too far away to host the day for loved ones, I looked for ways for us to spend the day together.

As I flipped through sales flyers, I stumbled upon an article that made me rethink the way we typically spend the day. The essay argued that Memorial Day has morphed from a somber reflection on those who died to gain our freedom to a day for parades, parties, and cookouts. It called for an end to such “frivolous celebrations” and the return to a day of mourning and prayer.

While the piece reminded me of the holiday's real meaning, I also thought about the need for balance. In the Old Testament, God instituted observances to remind the Israelites of major events in their history. These included days of fasting and feasting, times for mourning and merrymaking. Even Jesus, at His last Passover meal, introduced a new observance—communion taken “in remembrance” of Him—to memorialize His upcoming death and what it would accomplish for the world.

Memorial Day now reminds me of Jesus at His last Passover meal because it is also celebrated “in remembrance” of those who died to gain our freedom. As I reflect on the meaning of this day and maybe even take in the parade, I bow my head in thanks, not only for the men and women who've given their lives for this country but also for Jesus, Who gave His life for us all.

FAITH STEP: Take time to meditate on the costs of our national and spiritual freedoms. Thank Jesus for His sacrifice and for the sacrifices of brave men and women who died for us. Then celebrate this day!

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