This weekend is more than just a long weekend for Americans. At least it should be. The idea was formed as a way to remember everyone who fought and died during the Civil war, and, ultimately, it became a memorial for those who died for America in all of its wars. In our nations history, many have donned the uniform of the American Soldier, and some never got the opportunity to leave it, some never having gotten married, raised families, fulfilled their own dreams. They died so that others might have life. Unfortunately, many people forget this, and use it as an opportunity for a long weekend, for rest and recreation, forgetting the purpose and the sacrifice that makes them free.
God is not immune to setting up memorials. In the Old Testament, there were many monuments, laws, rituals, and many such things to remind people of who He is. Yet, people took such things for granted, and, though they participated in the festivals and Holy Days, as well as in sacrifice and Temple worship, they forgot who their God is. They set up idols, they chased wealth, and power, and sex. They lived for the moment instead of remembering and living for their God.
Jesus is His Father's Son. He, too, set up memorials. He gives us the Holy Spirit, our interpreter, comforter and counselor, who speaks to us the will of God and gives us life from Christ. He gave us Baptism, for the forgiveness of Sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit, and to remind us we were dead in our trespasses, but He has made us alive in Himself, being born again of the Spirit. He gave us Communion, the Lord's Supper where we have community with God and with one another, and yes, where we remember our salvation through His body and blood. How often do we take such things for granted? How often do we forget the Sacrifice made us both alive and free? We shouldn't merely pay homage to Jesus on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Christmas and Easter. We should let our lives be set up as a Memorial before the Lord, Always. John 14:15-31
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. nd I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here."