This week we will visit a veteran’s cemetery to lay to rest amidst the flags a dear friend and mentor who served in WWII. This Memorial Day we honor others who have preceded him.
Established following the brutal Civil War, Memorial Day honors the lives sacrificed for our freedom. Since the Civil War, Americans have given their lives serving in the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War and now the Afghanistan War. Today we celebrate those who made this ultimate sacrifice as well as honor those who are today in foreign battlefields facing danger.
Memorials are appropriate. They challenge us to stop, remember and give thanks. Throughout scripture God commanded His people to set up memorials and to remember His faithfulness and deliverance. He knows us well, that we are a forgetful people. Thankfulness must be cultivated. Memories of God’s faithfulness strengthen our faith.
The church sings a familiar hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” with an interesting word found in I Samuel 7:12:
Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.
The Lord intervened on behalf of Israel and gave a great victory. Then Samuel took a stone and placed it between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Up to here the Lord has helped us.” I Samuel 7:12
In our family we record God’s gracious provisions in a book we call the “Ebenezer Book.” We note specific times and places where we have experienced the faithfulness of God. Reading together as a family and recalling His faithfulness builds our confidence for the future.
This week as we celebrate the life of our friend we sorrow not as those who have no hope. Because we remember His faithfulness we look forward to a reunion that will last forever. Reunion with friends and those whom we honor this Memorial Day.