Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

We were trying to think of some profound words to share about Memorial Day when, in our inbox, arrived a devotional from Pastor Mike Macintosh of Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego, CA. We found his words fitting for the holiday and hope he doesn’t mind us sharing them with you.

Incidentally, Pastor Mike will be having surgery tomorrow to correct chronic back pain. Please lift him up in prayer.

Memorial Day is so much more than just a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. For many Americans, unfortunately, this is a “long weekend” to simply take the boat out, go camping, relax and have friends over for a barbeque. To others, it is a legitimate excuse to drink all the beer they can, and lull around in an easy chair.

On the other hand, for many people, especially the nation's thousands of combat veterans and military personnel, this day is a solemn day; a day which has a history in the United States stretching back to the Civil War, and is an important reminder for every free citizen of those who died in the service of their country.

President Franklin Roosevelt said, “Eleanor and I hate war.” We can all say, “Amen” to that, can’t we? Why does it seem that war is actually glorified? It would be interesting for someone to take a 365-day calendar and poll the 500 television stations available in the USA, along with the internet and motion pictures, and list the number of movies, documentaries, photo galleries, and books having to do with past and present wars. Not even to mention the future wars or star wars currently on the “drawing boards.”

Today, may we bow our heads before Almighty God and first thank Him for this wonderful country we live in? Thank Him for the brave men and women who have given their lives for the freedoms that we take for granted this day. Thank God for the parents, brothers and sisters, friends and relatives who have lost loved ones in one of these ugly wars. Today, we honor the memories of those who fought from Valley Forge to Gettysburg, from Iwo Jima to Berlin. We ask God’s forgiveness for our sins as a nation; sins so horrendous that we would have to take and give human life to protect a way of life.

Today we humbly ask the forgiveness of God for our nation turning our backs to Him and going about lifestyles that nailed His Son to the Cross. May God love us, help us, and protect us in the name of Jesus.

The final battle of mankind is drawing closer each day -- “that great and terrible day,” the prophet Joel called it:

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

- Joel 2:28-32 (KJV)
This is a wonderful thought that wars will end, lives will go on, and hope for eternity reigns through the finished work of the Cross.


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