Memorial Day

Do This In Remembrance…

MONDAY marks an important holiday for our country. It’s a day we take time to remember the people who have died while serving in the country’s armed forces defending the freedoms we often take for granted.

Unfortunately, it has become less about remembering and more about hot dogs, picnics and sleeping in. Until we became blue star parents we spent the holiday in much the same way. When two of our sons served simultaneously in Afghaninstan, the concern for their lives made us take notice of holidays such as this one. Fortunately, our sons returned safe and sound, but so many other’s children did not. It’s for them we take time to remember.

It’s sad to think that many, if not most, will not even pause to consider the cost of their freedom. It has become a day off, not to reflect, rather a day of revelry.

Do This In Remembrance of Me…

The church of Christ has a memorial day. It was instituted by our Savior on the night He was betrayed, and then observed in the church He bought with His own blood [Mat 26:26-29; Acts 20:28].

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. [1Corinthians 11:23-25]

Rather than being an annual observance, the first century saints observed this memorial supper each week… “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them…” [Acts 20:7].

Even the first century saints neglected this memorial, turning it into a common meal and neglecting the ‘remembrance in me.’ The Apostle Paul rebuked this perversion when he wrote, “What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.” [1Corinthians 11:22]

Monday is a day to remember the soldiers who gave their lives in service for our country. Sunday, however, is the Lord’s Day, the day that Christians come together to worship, to pray, to sing, to learn, to have fellowship (to lay by in store) and to remember the Lord’s Death. When we take this supper, we “proclaim the Lord’s death til He come.”

Wouldn’t it be sad if folks today started to view Sunday (the 1st day of the week) as just another day off? Wouldn’t it be sad if folks treated the Lord’s Day as a day for hot dogs, picnics and sleeping in? Wouldn’t it be sad if folks started asking, “why do I have to go to church?” Wouldn’t it be sad if folks stopped observing the Lord’s Supper every week? Wouldn’t it be sad if folks looked forward to playing games at the worship rather than meditating on the incredible price paid for our freedom from sin?

May it never be so, but alas…

Do you remember?

THERE ARE THOSE MAJOR events in a man’s life that burns an indelible mark in the memories of their mind. September 11th is one such event. We can vividly recall where we were, the folks we where with and how we felt in that moment, the day the towers burned. Then our own hearts sank along with those towers, reeling from the incredible loss of life.

There are other moments we shall never forget. Before 9/11 our parents told stories about a November day in Dallas. Having grown up near Canaveral (even though I was living in Alaska at the time), the Challenger explosion became my “Kennedy experience”.

Then there are the more personal moments, shared only by those close to you within your life. The day you met your future spouse, was it love at first sight? Perhaps the day you wed the love of your life. The birth of a child, can that ever be forgotten?

There are the tragic moments too, the loss of a mother, a father or even a child. My cousin’s daughter Jenny died suddenly after ingesting a peanut hidden in a brownie. Aspiring to be a country singer, she was on a trip to Nashville with her grandparents and was visiting the Grand Ole Opry. For over 20 excruciating hours My cousin awaited the return of her parents to see their faces and to hear first hand about what happened to their oldest child.

Yes, we do remember.

Could we ever forget? Excepting the degenerative diseases of the mind is there anything that could make us forget? We never “get over it”, never do we forget. We move forward as new people, affected by whatever it was that moved us. Lest we spend too much space reminiscing, there is another event we ought to remember.

That day the word of the Lord struck your heart, piercing it through, pricking it to obey the Gospel. Just like so many did on Pentecost; “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” [Ac 2:37]

Do you remember that day? Does it hold for you the same battle within your emotions between sorrow and joy. Sorrow for the recognition that your sin, and the whole worlds, sent our Savior to that cruel cross. Yet, there was also joy. Rejoicing that our Savior gave Himself, a substitutionary sacrifice, paying the debt caused by sin. [John 3:16]

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” [1John 2:2]

Every week we’re given opportunity to “remember” when His blood was shed on the cross. Though we weren’t alive, His divine word is and provides for us all of the vivid detail, leaving us the “Supper” to eat in remembrance of Him. “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” [Luke 22:19]

There are other times in which it becomes necessary to REMEMBER His death. When our days are darkened by sin. John was told to write letters to the 7 churches of Asia, and to the dead church at Sardis he told them; “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” [Rev 3:3]

When sin enters our lives, or despair from the burdens and memories of this life, let us revisit the memory of the day we were saved. Remember with a godly sorrow, that worketh repentance to salvation, and not the sorrow of the world that works death. [2Cor 7:9, 10]

We as Christians ought to remember that day. Unfortunately, there are so many more who have never had THAT day to remember. [2Thess 1:8] Perhaps the memory of that day would inspire us to share, with those who have yet to believe, the words of eternal life. [John 6:68]

6 Spiritual Questions

1. WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?

He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life. (John 5.24).

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved. (Acts 16.31).

Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2.38).

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. (Romans 10.9).

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. (Mark 16.15-16).

 

2. WHAT MUST WE HEAR?

This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him! (Matthew 17.5).

Moses said, THE LORD GOD SHALL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED in everything He says to you. (Acts 3.22).

If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3.20).

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1.16).

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Romans 10.17).

God… in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things. (Hebrews 1.1-2).

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28.18).

 

3. WHAT MUST WE BELIEVE?

See Acts 16.31 and Romans 10.17 above.

If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8.37).

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3.16).

 

4. WHAT MUST WE CONFESS?

See Romans 10.9, Question 1.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. (1 John 4.15).

That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2.11).

Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10.32).

 

5. WHY MUST ONE BE BAPTIZED?

Repent, and let each of you be baptized… for the forgiveness of your sins. (Acts 2.38).

Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins. (Acts 22.16).

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3.27). Read also Romans 6.3.

In which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water (Noah’s salvation in the ark). And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you. (1 Peter 3.20-21).

See also Mark 16.15-16 above.

 

6. WHAT CONSTITUTES BAPTISM?

And they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. (Acts 8.38-39).

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6.4).

For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. (Romans 6.5).

Buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (Colossians 2.12).