Memorial Day Reflection
Jesus’ command is this: “Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13
Memorial Day weekend was always one of my favorites growing up. Family reunions, picnics, softball games, frisbee, water-skiing and of course a morning parade were just some of those fond memories. The weekend was a bridge from spring to summer. The fragrance of grilling, the splashing of the waves and laughter of friends and family are happy memories.
My dad’s birthday almost always fell on Memorial Day Weekend. Forrest Edward Wells would have been 100 years old had he reached his 2020 birthday. Dad was a veteran of World War II and had stories of camaraderie, challenges, heroism, death and God’s grace to tell wrapped in his sense of love and duty of his family and country. Memorial Day as a federal holiday was established to remember and honor those men and women who have given their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Feasting, festivals, parades, speeches and sports all combine to make Memorial Day (formerly called flag day) a unique celebration. We enjoy relaxing with family and friends as we express gratitude for women and men who gave their all to keep us safe and free. Though Dad expressed concern about some of the directions our country had taken, he never regretted nearly losing his life for the people and country he loved.
As we experience this Memorial Day, give thanks to those who have given up their lives for us. Amid the food, parties and sports spend a moment in reflection. We are called to love! How are we offering ourselves, sacrificing ourselves, giving ourselves to others? In this time of pandemic anxiety and chaos may the United Methodist Christian Community be ones whose love for friends, family and community compel us to serve. Thank you to Dad and all men and women who have given their all in the Armed Forces in order to give me the opportunity to freely share the Good News of Jesus love for all.