Devotional for Monday May 25th

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Change can be good for you”
Our Bible verse for today: “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Be more thoughtful and appreciative.”
Today is Memorial Day. It’s the day each year that we as a nation have set aside to honor those who gave their lives in defense of our country. It’s different from Veteran’s Day. Veteran’s Day is observed on November 11th of each year and is meant to honor all those who have ever served in the Armed Forces. But Memorial Day is specifically for the remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives in combat.
The origin of Memorial Day is complex and a bit uncertain. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs lists twenty-five localities which all claim to have been the place where Memorial Day was first observed. Most of those early claims date back to Civil War days. At that time the actual designation was “Decoration Day” and it was the time when families, friends, and civic groups would decorate the graves of the war dead.
The other day on a radio station I was listening to a listener called in and urged the audience to stop saying “Happy Memorial Day”. He noted that there is nothing “happy” about this day. Instead, it’s supposed to be a somber reminder of the great sacrifices that have been made in order to protect the freedoms that we all enjoy. The caller suggested we say instead “Have a “memorable” Memorial Day”. In other words, “I hope you have a day that is deeply thoughtful as you consider and appreciate the sacrifices that have been made on your behalf.”
Personally, I like that a lot better and I think it’s much more appropriate. It also reminded me of a statement I read not too long ago in the book “The Burnout Society” by philosopher Byung-Chul Han. He was commenting on how scattered and superficial our thinking often is because we are so busy and distracted. He noted that all of the greatest cultural achievements of humanity have come as a result of contemplative attention and deep thinking. As individuals we’re at our best when we take the time to slow down and to think deeply about things.
One of the good changes that can come out of this time of social distancing, the stay-at-home orders, and the isolation, is that perhaps we will all slow down and think more deeply about issues that truly matter. Thinking deeply about the meaning of Memorial Day, and gaining a new or deeper appreciation for the sacrifice others have made for the sake of our freedom, would be a good start.
I wish you a “memorable” Memorial Day.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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