May 27 Devotion

Today is Memorial Day. Today is the end of a three day weekend. The end of a holiday. Today is the day symbolized as the beginning of summer. Today, many people will stop by cemeteries to place flowers on the graves of loved ones. There’s nothing wrong with any of this. Actually, I think it’s fantastic that we separate this weekend for what it is. But, today has a much greater meaning than any of this. Today is a day we should be remembering those that paid the ultimate price for us. Those that did so, while they served us, without even knowing us. 

Last year, I got to go attend a Memorial Day ceremony. The speaker was a retired Vietnam Veteran Marine Colonel. Colonel Jackson. He flew Cobras. He had a pretty amazing and accomplished career. But his message didn’t focus on himself. His message was why we have a holiday called Memorial Day. As it should have been. And he did a great job of explaining. During his message, he told everyone in attendance a story about meeting a woman at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC. The Wall. She was there because her son lost his life in that war. And she was at the portion of the wall with his name on it. Not knowing this, he asked her why she was there. Her response floored him. And it floored everyone at the ceremony when he told us. She answered to him, “I am here because his name is not just a name on a wall.”

Today, as you are celebrating this holiday, remember that. The 50,000+ names on that wall are not just names on that wall. Those names belong to fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, cousins, etc. Those names belong to people who died for us. Paid the ultimate price. The sacrifice. And there’s something else to consider. And not to lessen the soldiers’ names the least bit. But let’s remember another name. The name of the one who paid the ultimate price for everyone on this planet. Let’s remember Jesus. His sacrifice was for the world and everyone in it. Let’s never forget his name. NEVER! And let’s make sure others know his name as well. Let’s make sure they know that it’s not just a name. That it is the name of our Lord and Savior. Now if you don’t mind, let me finish with this. Colonel Jackson said this. Forgive me, I know I will not get it word-for-word. But, he told us that he believes that when veterans arrive at the pearly gates, there will be outstretched arms with nails in the hands. And that the right hand is going to reach down and salute them. Wow! That is awesome. I want to take it one step further. Those outstretched arms with nails and hands are going to both reach down and hug us when the rest of us arrive. Happy Memorial Day.

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