Pastor's Newsletter - Memorial Day 2014
From the Desk of Pastor Joyce
As I write this it is the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. More than a weekend to frolic in the sun and picnic on the grounds, Memorial Day is a day to remember. Remember our freedom has been bought with a price. Thousands of people have died that you and I might live in the freedom that we regularly take for granted. This day is remembered by many services in cemeteries where veterans are buried. Sometimes there are parades and “Taps” is often played solemnly at the end of the ceremony. When I was a girl scout, we made poppies to sell to remember those who had given their lives.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. 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.
Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It 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. “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,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
As our freedom and liberty has been bought by those who gave their lives in battle, the forgiveness of our sins and our salvation have been bought through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus gave his life willingly on the cross that we might have the freedom of grace from God to live our lives as his children without fear.
So as we celebrate Memorial Day with parades, picnics, family gatherings, baseball games or whatever other traditions your family has, remember we are bought with a price, not just by our military BUT also by Jesus Christ on the cross.
We have been truly blessed by God. In remembrance of this, let us reach out to those who are in need. Let us give of our resources to feed and house the hungry and homeless. Let us share the good news of Jesus Christ and the price he paid for all of us on the cross.
Your servant in Christ,