I have a bit of an aversion to disclaimers. We ought to be able to read/listen to those with whom we disagree and then interact in a civil manner. We shouldn’t have to hedge or soften our opinions. We should also have flying cars by now, so here’s my disclaimer:
I’ll be the first to admit I have a certain level of discomfort with the relationships between the American church and politics. I find the religious right AND the religious left a bit too militant and intolerant for my tastes. I get nervous when Sunday programs at church resemble Sam Eagle’s “A Tribute To All Nations, But Especially America.” (you’ll have to visit Hollywood Studios at Disney in Orlando if you’ve never seen it)
Memorial Day, though, is different. Memorial Day is not about a country or politics or even patriotism. Memorial Day is about people, specifically people who made the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit.
This list could probably be longer, but here are 5 reasons churches should at least make mention of Memorial Day this weekend:
1) The Bible encourages us to give honor to whom honor is due. In our nations 240 year history, hundreds of thousands have lost their lives in a cause larger than themselves. Each of them deserve honor.
2) Someone in your church may have lost a loved one in service to our country. We are to mourn with those who mourn. Observing this day is an opportunity to join your Christian brothers and sisters in mourning.
3) If you have soldiers or retired soldiers in your church, they have probably lost comrades. I imagine Memorial Day is painful for many of them. Joining them in that pain is one way to demonstrate Jesus’ love.
4) Jesus said the greatest love of all is the one who lays down his life for his friends. Memorial Day provides one of the most clear human portrayals of Christ’s love for us. For this reason alone, it is worth observing.
5) We all have many blessings as a result other people’s sacrifice. Taking time to be grateful for those sacrifices is beyond appropriate. A grateful church is a generous church. A generous church is a Godly church.
Memorial Day shouldn’t be the center of your service on Sunday. That spot is reserved for Jesus. This holiday shouldn’t even take precedent over the reading of Scripture. However, it’s a good idea to mention it, to say a prayer and maybe even share words of comfort for those who have lost someone.