I know this is technically the Friday after Memorial Day, but I’m actually writing this on Memorial Day. Therefore, a lot of my thoughts right now are centered on this day and what it means.

I’m about to get up and go light the grill and barbecue some chicken and I’m thinking how did we end up here? I mean, seriously. How did Memorial Day become a day for the vast amount of Americans to grill out with family and friends and throw parties?

Being me, I went to the web and typed in “Memorial Day History.” I stumbled through a few web sites and read through the History Channel’s article on the beginnings of “Decoration Day” and its evolution over time. In addition to more historical viewpoints, I jumped on Facebook for a social viewpoint of the day. One of my old friends is a veteran and, as I read through her post, I was shocked to see her complaining about people wishing her a “Happy Memorial Day.” Because after all, Memorial Day is about remembering those that died in pursuit of keeping us free.

So today, the majority of Americans will not really even pause to think why they have this extra day off and are enjoying some grilled animal deliciousness. How rude, right?

Let me ask this, though. How often do we stop and think about the fact that Jesus died for our spiritual freedom, which in the grand scheme of things is much more important than our worldly freedom? In our busy life, every morning is a gift.

Alright. Now you are either A) being thankful that service men and women gave their life for your freedom or B) feeling a little guilty because of the “Jesus juke” that last paragraph contained.

Mark gave a warning in his opening words on Sunday. Paraphrasing for my lack of photographic memory skills, “let us be careful not to over-glorify man, and forget about the glory that belongs to Jesus.” Not to take anything away from military personnel that have given the ultimate sacrifice, as I give high regard to them and feel empathy for their families during this time, but for those that profess Jesus as their Savior, His glory should ring louder than any others.

Psalm 115 discusses where glory belongs by saying, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” In that same chapter it describes the Lord as their help and their shield. God rescued them and was their protector.

Just like the military men we celebrate on Memorial Day, Jesus died a brutal death for which he chose to step in our place. We are “[those] that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield. (Psalm 115)” He is OUR help. He is OUR shield.

Lamentations 3 reminds us that every morning, His mercy is new. Let us remember His sacrifice daily, giving glory where glory is due.

Richard Jacobs
Worship Pastor

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