May 29, 2023, is Memorial Day in the United States. As our culture becomes more secular, rejecting Christian values and teachings, the significance of Memorial Day becomes lost. This special day began in 1868 and was called Decoration Day to honor soldiers who died in the Civil War. Those of us who have lived through modern wars should remember the 1.1 million Americans who have died in wars. Unfortunately, Memorial Day is no more than the beginning of summer or a day off work for many people.
The collateral damage of rejecting God and Christianity is that we have become a people who have lost the “attitude of gratitude” that goes with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible. Jesus instituted the communion, or Lord’s supper, as an act of remembering His sacrifice. When He said to partake in “remembrance,” recorded in Luke 22:19, the Greek word used was “anamnesis,” which means a “constant indwelled memory.” This means Christians should have an attitude that continually focuses on thankfulness for the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf.
The Bible tells us to continually remember the blessings we have received. Ephesians 5:4 tells us to give thanks. Philippians 4:6 says to “be careful for nothing but in all circumstances by prayer and thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Colossians 2:7 tells Christians, “you have been taught to be overflowing with gratitude..” Colossians 4:2 tells Christians to devote themselves to prayer and “be alert and thankful as you pray.” Many other passages tell us to be thankful.
It is easy to allow the stresses of daily life and the constant bickering of political leaders to distract us from the good things we have because of the sacrifices made by others. Congress passed The National Moment of Remembrance Act (P.L.106-579) in December of 2000. It encourages all Americans to pause at 3:00 local time for a moment of silence to remember those who have died in service to the nation. Unfortunately, most Americans are unaware of this legislation or are too busy to obey it.
If, for you, Memorial Day is no more than the beginning of summer, take time to remember how blessed we are to live in the United States of America. Remember the many who have sacrificed for our freedom, and thank God for the blessings that have come from our ancestors trusting in Him and His Word.
— John N. Clayton © 2023