What first comes to mind when you hear about Memorial Day? A day off work perhaps. Or, maybe it is a picnic at the lake with hot dogs, watermelon s’mores and family. Are considering one of the mattress or clothing sales? After all, you can’t avoid hear of them on the radio or television or internet.
A quick Google search for the phrase Memorial Day produced the date of the event this year, followed by a defining Wikipedia site as the opener. The remaining search (ie most of it) would only be helpful if you wanted to know how to avoid traffic delays, how stocks were performing in light of it or the special deals retailers are offering.
Actually, Memorial Day goes much deeper – somewhere most people do not realize. It is not only about remembrance but also unity and prayer. The law that covers such things is clear about its purpose – POTUS is to issue a proclamation every year on that day calling the people of the United States together in prayer for permanent peace, doing so according to their ow faith practice (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/36/116).
I wonder if the US Congress knew they were following biblical models when they put this in place. Annual remembrances are common throughout: Passover (Exodus 12), Feast of First Fruits (Leviticus 23), Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), and Feast of Tabernacle/Booths (Leviticus 23) come to mind. Jesus also reminded us to remember him through a practice often call the Lord’s Supper or Communion (Matthew 26, Luke 22). Talk about a call to remember the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of our peace and freedom!
So, please enjoy your day off and your hot dogs and family – but also please take time to remember those who made this day possible. And, please take time in prayer, united with others to remember them but also to petition God for peace and celebrate his magnificence (Romans 15:5-6).
Memorial Day: A prayer to God for permanent peace – this is a prayer, perhaps even a plead we can all unite around!