The American tradition of Memorial Day began more than 100 years ago. It was at the end of a brutal war, a war in which brother fought brother and the best of friends became the worst of enemies. It was the Civil War, one of the worst wars ever fought by the people of this nation, and it was fought on our own soil. At the end of this war, family members of the many soldiers slain in battle would visit the gravesites of their fallen relatives or friends and decorate their graves with flowers.
Memory is a treasure chamber of the soul. In it are stored the joys and sorrows, the pains and pleasures of experience in rich profusion. There, mellowed by the kindly hand of time, our sorrows soften into benediction, and our joys are kept forever fair. However, there is a thing I call the confusion of memories. We forget the things we would remember, and remember the things we want to forget.
Somebody said: "The meeting between ignorance and knowledge, between brutality and culture - it begins with the dignity with which we treat our dead and in the honor we do their memory." Without memory, we lose our sense of identity; we lose the power from the past that shapes the present and the future.
Memorial Day reminds us that war is never impersonal. It is people, not statistics, who die in war. Warriors and civilians; the good and the bad; the young and the old. All with identities, and names; personalities and relationships.
Now here is the other side of it. There may be times in life when it hurts to remember, when memory is too painful, bringing only loss or failure, broken pieces from the past. When that is true, the present seems empty and the future stretches ahead, bleak and hopeless.
Let us make the memory the depository of the deep things of God, and we will never be left desolate. A cultivated memory into which there has poured the holiest and the best becomes one of the richest treasures of the soul. For our memory is we; in it lays our personality, and it is eternal.
Above all these things, what we have to be thankful for the most is that which is most precious -- love in our lives, people who care and for whom we care, and most of all, God's tender love for us.
“Eternal God, lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth; lead us from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace. Let Your peace fill our hearts, our world, our Universe. AMEN”
Dr. SAMUEL SAWITSKI,
Where to Find Us:
Desert Garden United Church of Christ
18818 North 128th Avenue
Sun City West, AZ 85375
Phone: (623) 584-1795
"Strengthen the Church"
Strengthen the Church (STC) is a special mission offering to
reimagine and build the future of the UCC. Shared at the conference and national levels, STC largely supports youth ministries and full-time leaders for new churches in parts of the country where the
UCC voice has not been heard.
As God calls our congregations to be the church in new ways, your generosity will plant new churches, awaken new ideas in existing churches and develop the spiritual life in our youth and young adults. The STC offering is on Sunday, June 4, 2017