Memorial Day weekend obviously has always been a pretty big deal here in Indianapolis. This year it even felt almost close to being normal, with crowds back at the Speedway and BBQ’s in backyards.
I spent the weekend doing tons of yardwork at home and chores for my homebound dad, while listening to a number of podcasts, including one about the infamous Tulsa massacre of “Black Wall Street” and one about the real meaning of Memorial Day.
Speaking at Gettysburg in the aftermath of the bloodshed that erupted there in the summer of 1863, Lincoln urged “that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.” As I weeded and mowed and cleaned, I found myself praying that we would be a people who continue to work for freedom and opportunity for all people. I prayed for a patriotism that is free to learn from our past in order to work harder for “a more perfect union.” I prayed with thanksgiving for the courage of women and men willing to lay down their lives. And I prayed that no one will ever have to make such a sacrifice again.
This weekend we remember those who have died serving our country throughout its history. On Sunday – always a “little Easter” - we also remember that, in Christ, death has been swallowed up forever in the victory of God. Tears will be wiped away, and death will be no more. Christ is risen, Alleluia!
So we pray in thanksgiving for the saints who have gone before us. And we pray that life, in all its fullness and freedom, would break forth for all people, of every tongue and nation, throughout the world.
Be well friends. You are loved.
Pastor Dave Schreiber