Remembering What Really Matters

Memorial Day is a day to remember.  Our nation remembers the sacrifices of those who have bled and died to preserve the freedoms and privileges we have as citizens of the United States of America. Remembering their sacrifices does not benefit them, it benefits us.

Memorial Day causes us to pause and reflect on the sacrifices those who have gone before us.  It redirects our thoughts from the mundane day to day activities and the anxieties and perceived threats that we think we face in our daily lives and puts them in perspective with the real meaning of life and real anxieties and threats that real people of our past have faced.  It causes us to take stock of what really matters in life.

Scripture informs us that as believers our ultimate citizenship is not of this world.  We are citizens of God’s Kingdom.  Remembering the lives of believers who have gone before us and their experience of God’s dealing with them, their sacrifices and accomplishments helps us gain perspective.  It helps us understand what “real” life is all about, what is important, and perhaps how trivial some of the dramas we are dealing with really are.  It also helps us to understand what the normal, average, ordinary believer can do when he or she lives by faith, trusting God’s plans and promises, and how a simple, normal person of integrity and faith can impact eternity.

1 Corinthians 10:11 tells us that God recorded their experiences for us. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

James encourages us to consider their example and God’s dealing with them in order to gain perspective on our present lives.

James 5:10-11 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

Sixteen times in the New Testament we are encouraged and even commanded to consider the example of those who have gone before us.  We, as grateful citizens of a great country, become better citizens as we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our well-being.  In the same way we as grateful citizens of God’s Kingdom gain greater clarity and perspective to live lives that make us patriotic citizens of God’s Kingdom.

Elder Fred Butcher

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