May 25, 2016
Certain dates on the calendar provide reminders of special events in the past. This weekend is one of them. In my growing up years, our annual routine was to visit the cemeteries where family members were buried. We would collect wildflowers from the ranch and place them on the graves. My mother usually shed some tears and my dad always offered a prayer of thanksgiving for the people being remembered. We kids learned to value people that we had never known.
During the next few days, there will be military events at national cemeteries, flyovers by military aircraft, thousands of American flags placed on graves, and plenty of tears shed as people remember and give thanks for the men and women who gave time to the service of our country. These are good reminders to us of the cost of freedom.
As Carol and I developed our own family traditions, Memorial Weekend was the time for one of several summer camping trips. A special memory goes back to 1980 when, less than two weeks earlier, Mount St. Helens had blown her top. On Memorial Weekend, she decided to send out a lot more material and we woke up to mud-ash raining on our tent. Many camping trips later, our tent still showed evidence of that event.
Memorial Weekend is considered the official beginning of summer. Many people get serious about gardening at this time. Schoolchildren are counting the days to the end of another school year. Graduation events and celebrations abound. Each of these milestones has significance, and most of them will become memories – hopefully, good ones.
Before Jesus went to the cross to die in our place, He established a memorial celebration we know as Communion or The Lord’s Supper. When we participate, we remember Him and give thanks while also anticipating His return for us at a future time. I pray that our first priority during this Memorial Weekend will be to remember Jesus. This will put all other memories in proper perspective.
Pastor Bill Ehmann