In the United States, Memorial Weekend ushers in the unofficial start of summer! And while it’s a time of celebration, it’s also important to remember the origin of this holiday; to honor the men and women who have lost their lives serving in the United States Armed Forces.
It has also become a tradition to remember the loved ones we have lost in our own lives. At St. Luke’s, it has become a tradition to light a candle in honor of those we have lost this past year on the Sunday before Memorial Day. Even when we experience loss and pain, we can be encouraged by the promises and goodness of God. Three things I want to share with you as you remember and give thanks this weekend.
#1 LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
When you lose someone you love, you understand what it means to live in a time of darkness. Even though you are grateful for the time you spent with them, the loss and pain can feel overwhelming. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he shared some encouraging words that can still provide hope for us, today. Paul said, even when we are persecuted and struck down, we are not crushed, we’re not driven to despair, we are not forsaken and we are not destroyed. He reminds us that the very God who created light in the darkness in the beginning of time also shines light in the darkness of our hearts.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
#2 THE LEGACY OF A LIFE
As we remember those who have sacrificed through the years, we can also be comforted knowing that they continue to bless our lives today. Even from the kingdom of heaven, they continue to bless us through the legacy they left behind. Haven’t you ever felt the presence of someone you love who has died? Haven’t you ever felt their guidance and direction in your life? Even though they are gone, they still continue to bless you.
#3 IT’S OUR TURN
Looking back to remember the ways we have been blessed encourages us to do the same for others. Now is our time to sacrifice, to share and be there for others. How are you serving others? How are you being a blessing? Who will be affected by the legacy you’re creating? When we come together to remember those who have sacrificed and served we can find inspiration to do the same for others! Even in the midst of our darkness, God shines light into our lives, lifting us from sadness to be the people of hope.