I was in Tallahassee on Monday. While I sat waiting in the hotel lobby, I overheard a conversation not far from me. I wasn’t intentionally listening in, but the subject matter caught my attention. One hotel employee asked another, “What is Memorial Day?” The other responded with an uncertain and incorrect answer. Neither knew about nor understood the purpose of Memorial Day. Their ignorance shocked me. When Angie (my daughter) came to the lobby, I asked her what she knew about Memorial Day and she got it right on the spot.
This holiday is more than a day for vacations or traveling. It’s not just another federal holiday. It is the day when we memorialize those who not only fought for this country, but also gave their lives in the process. The blood of men and women purchased our freedom. These are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters. Even with all her problems and disappointments, there is not other place so blessed as America. Our freedoms and opportunities are nearly unparallel by any of the 195 nations.
While the debate about nationalism, patriotism, and sanctuary continue one fact remains – the debate is possible due to the sacrifice of these soldiers. I never fought in the military, but have the upmost respect for our soldiers. They fight for purpose, principle, and our protection. May we never forget their contribution or the many who sacrificed their own existence in order that we might thrive in freedom!
We must be careful to grow a generation that never forgets. I’m reminded of the Israelites in Judges 2. Joshua died. Then we read, “After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel.” I’m fearful we’re forgetting. It’s in the forgotten disaster encroaches. God gave us a wonderful country, so many blessings, and unsurpassed successes. God must be acknowledged, praised, and thanked publically in the houses of worship. Nationalism should never become our God, but stewardship demands education, thankfulness, and acknowledgment. Celebrate what God has done for America in the worship of our Lord. Acknowledge Him and Him alone. Thank Him for His goodness, blessing, and provision. A lack of acknowledgment is a demonstration of thanklessness. God entrusted America’s citizens with a great and awesome gift. Let us never forget it nor shrink from our role as stewards. Teach the people what God has done and about the people who gave their lives in the cause. Never, never, never forget!
Bring the flag into the sanctuary, but don’t worship it. Recognize the gift and its entrustment and our responsibility in stewardship. May we never forget what God has done!