Memories

Memories are powerful. We have good memories, bad memories, and memories that take us back to some important moment in history.  
 
I happily remember Christmas Eve, 1995, when I asked Melissa to marry me. I remember walking out the double doors in the hospital hallway with our first-born child wrapped like a burrito and presenting her to four new grandparents. I remember my police badge being pinned over my heart, as I successfully graduated the police academy. I remember kneeling in front of God, my family, and my pastor, as I was ordained a pastor.  
 
But memories are not always so sweet. I still remember the moment Mrs. Maynard walked into my classroom with tears in her eyes. She interrupted our homework and said the Challenger Space Shuttle had just exploded. I remember later that day my dad driving us home, as we listened intently to the news coverage in the car. I also remember getting home from a long night’s work, dealing with horrific images of planes flying into the World Trade Center. 
 
Memories can be wonderful, horrifying, and sometimes both. We could write books about the many memories of our lives. They are important because they remind us of where we came from, how our lives were impacted by past happenings, and they remind us of what could happen if we aren't careful.
 
This coming Monday we will remember those who have lost their lives serving in the United States Military. We will remember the sacrifices their families made, as loved ones fought and died in other countries to protect us.
 
In the late 1860s, communities began to hold springtime tributes to the thousands of soldiers who had lost their lives in battle. Incredibly, Memorial Day did not become an official federal holiday until 1971, and is now observed annually on the last Monday in May.
 
This weekend, as you throw the lure in the water, or the burger on the grill, take a moment to pause and remember the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives so we can freely worship, freely read scripture, and freely praise the Lord every Sunday in church.  
 
Speaking of Sunday, we will continue our series, “Seaside with the Savior.”  This week, we will reflect upon what the disciples remembered. John wrote: 
 
Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. –John 21:12
 
The disciples didn’t even need to ask. They remembered who Jesus was and what he had done. They remembered that only the Lord could do what he did, not only on the lake, but on the cross. They remembered that he took our sins upon himself so that we might be free to live as redeemed children of God.
 
Thanks be to God!
 
In other countries I would be arrested for what I just wrote, but not here in America- thank you veterans I am forever grateful.
 
Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you that we can freely share this Good News because of the sacrifice others have made to serve our country. Let us gladly share the Good News that others might believe and live life fully and eternally. 
 
AMEN