To greet you today with a “happy” Memorial Day seems a bit contradictory, don’t you think?
When I was a child my family attended a church called “Memorial Baptist.” Although I didn’t question it at the time, as I reflect on it now, I realize what an odd name it was for the church of the Living God. On Memorial Day we remember men and women who have died in the service of our country. In a way, they died for us! Maybe that’s what the founders of the Memorial Baptist Church were thinking.
A memorial is also an object which serves as a focus for memory of a person who has died—a gravestone or plaque or a cross. But a church as a memorial doesn't set right with me, as though it were a big tomb! I do realize, however, the Lord’s Supper is a memorial ("this do in remembrance of me”). Jesus wanted us to remember He died for us.
Well, I’m not going to be able to resolve this paradox today. But this one thing I know. Unlike the fallen heroes and man-made gods of this world, of whom there is nothing left but a memory, “our hope [on this day of memories] is in the Living God” (1 Tim. 4:10).