Memorial Day - Easter Season
What do you do to remember people who have died for their country? If they are from your family, you might go to the cemetery to put flowers on their graves. From the time of the U.S. Civil War, Americans have set aside time to remember those who served their country. One of those times is Memorial Day.
We originally called this day Decoration Day, because the graves of the soldiers were decorated with flowers.
When I was in school, we would bring our pennies (yes, pennies) to school to be collected for flowers to be placed on the tombs of soldiers in our local cemetery. I can remember proudly giving my teachers my pennies to help brighten up the graves of soldiers who I would never know.
It is important that we honor those brave men and women who have sacrificed for our country, who have given up their lives, without question for our freedoms. For freedoms we so often take for granted.
Most people of my generation have someone who has served in the military. You see, I come from the time when young men were drafted. You didn't have a choice, you SERVED! You served proudly. It was an honor to serve your country, if you were drafted into the armed forces.
The Bible tells us, "No greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John 15:13)
We all have someone in our lives who gladly gave His life for us. He did this willing, when He went to the cross. Our LORD gave His life so that we may live in Heaven with Him. He didn't do this for love of country. He didn't do this because he received a notice telling him to report for active duty. He did this purely out of His love for each and every one of us.
We don't have to go to a cemetery to place flowers or flags on a grave to remember the ONE who gave His life for us! The reason is the tomb is EMPTY!
We have the JOY of knowing that while Christ laid His life down for us, this isn't the end of the story! He rose again on the third day and His tomb is Empty!
We don't need a Memorial Day to remember our LORD and His sacrifice for us because we have a Good Friday and an EASTER!
Praise the LORD - We live in an Eternal EASTER Season!
Who are you?
Before I was married, I used the Title "Ms." Instead of "Miss" with my last name, of Tetro. I didn't want to have people know whether I was married or not, it was a security thing. I was proud of where I came from and wanted them to know who I was, and who I was related to - I'm proud of my parents.
After, I married I never used the title of "Ms." again! I proudly "took" my husband's name twenty-eight years ago as well as the title of "Mrs.". I still use the title today, even though it's been six and a half years since he has gone home to the LORD. I would no more drop the title than I would drop my last name.
When we married, I became a new person - I was no longer single. I went from being alone to being one with my husband. Strange math our LORD has when He speaks of the two becoming one.
This is so true of our relationship with our LORD. We are told that when we are His we are a new creation - We read in 1 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone; the new is here!
With the shedding of the old and the putting on of the new we also take a new name, that of Christian. As we take the name of Christian, we become "little Christs" followers of Christ. We strive to follow Him all the days of our lives. We live for Him, become one with Him. He lives in us. We listen to Jesus' words in John 14:15, If you love me, keep my commands. This isn't an earthly command made for proof of love with a chance of the loved one turning away, but a heavenly command with a promise and with a show of love.
When we were brought into the family of God, we are indeed new in Christ and even though He hasn't been on the Earth for over two-thousand years we still use the title of Christian. We still strive to live to the example He set for us. We are still one with Him.
We truly have an awesome God who loves us and has given us a unique identity that changed who we were before the Son set us free through His sacrificial death and resurrection.
Vicki Helmling is a teacher at Grace English Lutheran School