Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day – A Little Background History

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.  1Corinthians 16:13
Me·mo·ri·al Day: a noun – a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May.
Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and the tradition came from the Civil War and a desire to honor our soldiers who passed away in the line of duty.  It was officially proclaimed by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, on May 5, 1868.  He proclaimed The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land…  May 30th was chosen because it was not the date of any particular battle. 
In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael responded with a poem she wrote:
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 began the tradition of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war.  Traditionally, the money earned by organizations who sell the red poppy boutonnieres goes to servicemen and Veterans in need.
Reflections of Blessings
It has been said a million times, but bears repeating.  We often take for granted the gift of freedom and blessings of the life we live.  We have grown up here, without war raging around us and totalitarian government dictating every breath we take, yet we don’t realize how very blessed we are and that we have our military to thank for it. Men and women have sacrificed their lives so we can live free.
Jesus Christ also sacrificed His life for our freedom.  He fought a different battle for a different freedom; ultimate freedom.  Today we also reflect on His sacrifice and find hope only through Him.  Jesus told us, "Greater love has no man than this -- than to lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). Jesus did just this.  He showed the Greatest Love to us in His death on the Cross yet He did not deserve to die -- He was not guilty of sin or guilty of any unrighteousness before God. What He did was amazing.
 This Memorial Day, while you are enjoying BBQ and swimming pools with your family, take a moment to remember why you have the day off.  Take a moment and thank God for the blessings you have because of the people who sacrificed.  Take a moment and thank God that he gave His only son to be sacrificed so we could have freedom in Him and salvation from Sin.  
Scripture to Claim:

 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.  One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.   Psalm 27:3-4

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