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Archive for May 28th, 2018

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Today is the  day for remembering those who died in our Nation’s battles to protect our constitutional liberty.  It was originally called Decoration Day as family and friends went to cemeteries to decorate grave sites of those who died in battle.  This custom began after the Civil War and the profound grief  over so many killed in that war north and south. The day was changed by an Act of Congress in 1967 to make for a convenient three day weekend, along with other holidays.

The VFW in a 2002 Memorial Address stated:

Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day. (Wikipedia)

I agree. In the same Wikipedia Article:

Starting in 1987 Hawaii’s Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, introduced a measure to return Memorial Day to its traditional date. Inouye continued introducing the resolution until his death in 2012.

It was obviously never passed.  I admire the Senator’s tenacity. The Church too has moved holy days to fit changing lifestyles. October 31 is the feast of the Reformation but now it is on the Sunday closest; likewise, All Saints, traditional date, November 1 is observed on the closest Sunday.  Why? Answer: “No one would come out for a weekday service”, or very few.  Real answer:  It’s not convenient. I have gone to Memorial Day observance here in our town for maybe 15 years, at times with a groan, but  ever encouraged.  Here is picture of this year’s ceremony:

Memorial Day 2018

There were maybe a 100-200 people there out of a town of about  7,000. I noticed some of the same folks every year. I’m glad they are there. We were actually encouraged to sing The National Anthem. It’s nice to have a three day weekend but the attendance at this Memorial Day observance is stagnant.  I think this is a much better way to honor America than at a NFL game. A NFL game costs hundreds of dollars. Today’s observance was free for free Americans to remember those who died for our freedom.

As Americans we need to know, for example, the difference between Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day.  We should visibly honor our nation and so be formed as citizens.  We should be crowding the local observances in our towns and cities and what comfort that would give to veterans and their families! As Christians we should be crowding the Church every Sunday not to be entertained but engaged and challenged and remember the sacrifices of the saints and martyrs and live lives worthy of our calling.  We need to remember and be taught and deepened in the truth of Law and Gospel in order to live as light in the world and so be formed as the Church, the Body of Christ, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, and as citizens of our free nation.  This is not convenient..  Many have been martyred for their Christian faith and it was not convenient.  Many who died for our Constitutional freedoms likewise and it was not convenient. 

We need to remember the oath every member of the military takes:

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God

In a similar way,  the Commander-in-Chief, senators, congressmen and FBI agents make a similar oath with the vow to, “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.  As I have heard at least two speeches by military officers at the Commissioning ceremony at VMI point out:  You will swear your allegiance not to a man, but to the Constitution. Neither the Church nor our nation is a dictatorship of a man, or relativism, or an ideology. The Constitution was brilliantly designed to stop political dictatorships.  But profoundly and deeply, the greater need is freedom from spiritual dictatorship of sin, death and the power of the devil as proclaimed and given in a real history and recorded in the Bible. Christians obey Words on a page as God’s Word became flesh.

 

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5: 1

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