May 20, 2008

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is in two weekends. “No, actually, it is this weekend” you say. But really, it is in two weeks. “No, it really is this weekend, May 26th to be exact.” O, that Memorial Day. Yes, I know there is a great American holiday coming this weekend – one in which we rightly remember and honor those who have paid for our political freedom with their own blood and sweat. Yes, I know about that Memorial Day – and I urge you to remember it, too.

But I was thinking about an even bigger Memorial Day – June 1, 2008! “June 1 is Memorial Day?” Well, yes it is. That is the day when we at PRBC get to do as Jesus taught us: “Do this [drink the cup and eat the bread] in remembrance of Me.” That is a memorial. And that makes June 1 – and every first Sunday of the month in the life of our church – a Memorial Day.

Now there are all sorts of ways we celebrate this Memorial Day – most of all by eating and drinking. But unlike the picnics that some of us will enjoy this weekend, this feast is a little different, isn’t it? There is not so much food involved. Not enough food in fact, for the celebration to turn out really to be about food. And there is fellowship, too. But not the kind that we have at a late May picnic. In fact, not the kind of fellowship that would make this Memorial Day largely an occasion to hang out with family. No, this one is a little different ... and is celebrated with a different kind of family!

Yes, this Memorial Day does also remember that we have been granted wonderful freedom – but not freedom from political tyranny. Rather this freedom is freedom from something much more difficult to bear that political tyranny. This Memorial Day remembers that we have freedom from the tyranny of sin; freedom from the threat of hell; freedom from the just wrath of God; and freedom to become His children!

And yes, this Memorial Day does remind us that our freedom has been paid for with blood – but not with the blood of “our boys”, as precious as they are and were. This freedom was bought with the blood of God’s boy, God’s only begotten Son, Jesus. So the emotions ought to run that much deeper. God’s own Son paid the ultimate sacrifice – not for a proud country, but for a band of rebels who hated His Father and lived to serve themselves … for you and for me.

Isn’t that worth celebrating? So think about how you plan to celebrate Memorial day, or the 4th of July. Then think about how much greater is the Christian Memorial Day – and throw yourself into the celebration of it, at your local church, with the greatest of zeal!

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