Memorial Day began as a day to honor those fallen in the Civil War. That war not only paved the way for freedom for all Americans, it laid the groundwork for relationships to be restored across racial, geographic, and even family barriers.
Memorial Day expanded to honor fallen soldiers across all wars in the history of the United States. Every year on May 30, graves of fallen soldiers were decorated as the country remembered with gratitude. In 1971, the holiday was moved to the 4th Monday in May to create a long weekend for federal employees. That move has turned Memorial Day into the unofficial barbecue and summer kickoff that it has become for many.
Today, may we make sure to remember and honor those soldiers who have fallen in granting us freedom in this country.
Many of those same soliders, and others, helped in coining the phrase R & R. It stood for rest and recuperation. Something soldiers needed if they were to maintain their ability to fight for our country. Time to get away from the battle, rest, and recuperate - all with the intention of returning to the fight.
As a church, we fight against darkness. We fight by serving people who are pushing back darkness in their own lives. We fight by standing for what is good and true and just in our community and world. We fight by sharing Jesus with people so that he might transform their heart and life.
And I believe it’s now time for a little R & R. Rest and relationships. All with the intent to return to the fight.
As we emerge from a global pandemic, we know the things and people we are fighting for as a church need us to stay in the fight. But in this moment, we rest. We rest in him. We rest in Jesus by spending a little more time in the morning with him. We rest in him by removing a couple things from our task list knowing that pleasing him is really what counts.
For this next month, we pour ourselves into relationships that need to be refilled. We spend time with God and people, knowing that this next month of R & R is preparing us to lean into the fight against the enemy for the next year and beyond.
We remember that Jesus died for our freedom. We honor it by resting in him and pouring into the relationships he has blessed us with.
See you on the outside church fam. Happy Memorial Day!