The verse that immediately came to my mind when thinking about Memorial Day was John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." This verse is often quoted on Memorial Day and frequently applied (in most cases, correctly) to the men and women who have died to serve our country. Memorial Day, then, is the day that we remember those who have fallen, whether in battle or in peacetime, who have sacrificed all simply for the sake of their fellow man's freedom. This day, in our culture, comes around once a year and to most, this day signifies the beginning of the summer season and the associated recreational activities.
What will you do on Memorial Day? Some will have backyard cook outs. Some will go to the lake or beach. Some will go to a park for a picnic. Others will attend a parade or some other Memorial Day celebration. But our eternal destiny does not depend upon us doing any one particular thing on Memorial Day.
There is another memorial day, however, that is much more significant than the Memorial Day which we celebrate every year. This memorial day commemorates One who not only gave His life for his friends, but also for His enemies (Romans 5:7, 8). This memorial day is not to remember those who have fallen in battle, but One who was triumphant over death (Colossians 2:15). This memorial day doesn't begin a single season of the year, but begins every week of the year. This memorial day is observed by those who are faithful Christians upon the first day of the week, every week. What is this day of which I speak? It is Sunday, the first day of the week (Mark 16:2, 9, Acts 20:7), the Lord's day (Revelation 1:10).
Yes, today is memorial day. The early Christians gathered upon the first day of the week to remember the Lord by partaking of the Lord's supper (Acts 20:7). Jesus said in Luke 22:19 "…this do in remembrance of me" and Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25 reiterated this statement of Jesus in regard to the Lord's Supper as well. Yes, today is memorial day. When we eat of the bread and drink of the fruit of the vine, we remember the body and blood of Jesus. We remember that He died for us; we remember that He was resurrected to live again (Philippians 3:10); we remember that his physical death gave us spiritual life that we might live in Him each day (1 Thessalonians 5:10). Yes, today is memorial day as well as next Sunday, and the Sunday after that; each first day of the week we observe memorial day.
What will you do on memorial day? Many think that memorial day is a day to stay home and rest, or go to the park, or beach or lake. Yet others believe that we must make an observance of memorial day, but not the full observance by remembering His body and blood in His supper, at His table. We each have a choice this memorial day. We can abide by the instructions of the One who established memorial day and remember Him as He desires, or we can do whatever we desire whether that is not observing the day at all, or only partly observing it. One thing is certain; our eternal destiny will depend upon how we observe this memorial day.