Pastor Todd writes a weekly article for the Tuttle Times. Here is his piece for Memorial Day.

We decorate for Christmas and Easter. We adorn our homes on July 4th. Some decorate for New Year’s Day, Halloween, and St. Patrick’s Day. We decorate for Birthdays – houses, cakes, and cookies. Commemorating events with glitz and glam make for memorable occasions.

Monday we celebrate Decoration Day. If you are my age or younger, Decoration Day likely throws you off as you look forward to the long Memorial Day Weekend. They are the same.

Long before we began celebrating the official start of summer with Memorial Day, countless people visited military cemeteries around the Country to honor fallen soldiers who died in the American Civil War. Over the years since the Civil War American soldiers who lost their lives in ensuing wars have been honored with flowers and flags on their graves. Decoration Day informally changed to Memorial Day. Federal Law declared the day Memorial Day in 1967.

Today Memorial Day serves as a day where we not only honor fallen soldiers, but any family member who has died. What began as a day to honor American soldiers has become a sacred day in American culture to honor all who have died. Sociologist Robert Bella, in “Civil Religion in America (Wikipedia),” views Memorial Day as a sacred day in American Civil Religion. The day takes on a religious fervor not tied to a particular religion or denomination but stirs the religious impulses nonetheless.

Reading about Memorial Day and the move from the particular honoring of American soldiers to the general honoring of all who have died left me wondering if honoring everyone really honors anyone. Don’t misunderstand. My vocation necessitates honoring those who have died. But, when we set aside a special day to honor a special group of people is it not somehow undermined when on that day those special servants take a back seat to everyone?

Think about Sunday worship. Over time, even we Christians, view Sunday as just any other day. What was once set aside to celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is now just a day like the other six. Some may recall “Blue Laws.” Once upon a time only rarely could businesses open on Sunday. Now businesses are questioned if they are not open on Sunday. There is no sacred. Or, is it that all days are sacred and should be honored. If that is true then the parallel may be all lives are sacred and so our current practice of Memorial Day is actually the better version?

Decorate your lives with every day celebrations of Jesus and every day celebrations of the lives of those around you.

Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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