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By May 27, 2018August 30th, 2022Devotional

It’s Memorial Day, 2018 and before the beginning of the Indy 500 this morning, I was checking out Facebook and noticed a post about the real meaning of Memorial Day – to remember those folks who fought for our freedom and gave, in the words of President Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, “the last full measure of devotion.” In other words, they died for our country…

There were images of wives and families visiting cemeteries and hugging the headstones of loved ones who had been killed in the line of duty. All of the photos evoked emotion – family members spreading out blankets and lying on graves in the hope of gaining peace from being even closer to their dearly departed service men and women. It was sobering to see those images.

When we think of the celebrations of this day, we usually think of family cook-outs, parades, the beginning of summer, the opening of the neighborhood pools and a host of other events that mark the end of the school year and the unofficial beginning of summer. But the truth of the matter is that Memorial Day is much more than that – it is, in a very real way, the remembrance of those who lost their lives in the fight for freedom.

At the Last Supper, Jesus was with His disciples and taught them their most important lessons – how to live life serving one another and spreading the Good News throughout the world. We are told that he took the wine and the bread and taught the disciples about what we refer to as communion – or in Catholic circles, the Eucharist. There is some difference in Catholic doctrine as opposed to other mainline Protestant denominations as to whether the bread and the wine are the literal blood and body of Christ or not but all of us agree on the lessons that were taught that evening.

Regardless of your viewpoint on this theological issue, there is no question that the apostle Paul tells us in our verse for the evening that Jesus uttered words that were meant to encourage the disciples to remember… Paul lets us know, in 1 Corinthians 11:24-25, “and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Jesus, before his arrest and crucifixion, wanted the apostles, and us, to remember the lessons that He taught that evening – the pinnacle of His ministry on this earth. My encouragement this evening is that Jesus died for the sins of everyone – even those who haven’t been born yet. My prayer is that this Memorial Day each of us will remember the sacrifices so many have made in the name of freedom – and that whenever we celebrate communion, we will also remember the sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of the world. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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