This Sermon was delivered to an audience of 50 or more people on May 26, 2012 @ 11 a.m. @ Chestnut Hill Memorial Park in Cuyahoga Falls.
TIME OF REMEMBRANCE: Memorial Day 2012.
Greetings in the beautiful and majesty name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
This weekend, Memorial Day weekend is a time of remembrance, remembering those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice as well as remembering our loved ones who have preceded us in death. Remembrance is a powerful word that serves a profound purpose, calling us to remember so we will not forget.
Not forget…those who have paid the ultimate Sacrifice, Christ being the ultimate example of sacrificial love, all to whom we owe a debt we cannot pay and we tribute with our remembrance.
Not forget...those whom we love and were an important part of our lives. May we treasure and honor the memory of their lives.
Not forget…that we are called to be a Nation Under God, a people who believe in freedom, faith, family, and friends.
May we remember all of these things as we consider: Compassion, Comfort, Conviction, and Challenge.
Compassion – Jesus was the most compassionate man to ever walk this earth. The shortest verse of Scripture in the Bible says, “Jesus wept.” He wept only twice in the Scriptures that we know of. In this case His compassion was upon the family and friends of Lazarus. He wept because he would miss his dear friend, even though only temporarily, but also because others were hurting. So today may the Compassion of Christ be upon you and others.
Comfort - Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” God comforts those who mourn because He cares. He knows the pain of loss and gives us permission to mourn knowing that we can experience His comfort as we turn to Him. So today may the comfort of Christ be upon you and others.
Conviction – I have a strong conviction in the hope of the resurrection of dead that we have in Christ alone because He is the only living God! He is alive, He is risen! This cemetery is considered Hallowed ground, as sacred place in an ever growing secular world. Why? If it were only about death it would only be about ash and dust and our Lives would have no meaning and our remembrance of events and others would be in vain. But there is more! This place is sacred because God gave each of us a define spark, known as a soul. Paul writes, “To be absent from this body, is to be with the Lord.” Our souls move on, there is a greater purpose than this life alone.
1 Corinthians 15:51-57 says, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So today may the conviction of Christ bring victory to our lives and others as we remember the Hope we have in Christ alone – through His atoning death for our sin and His victorious Resurrection over the wages of sin death! Glory to God…may we remember this today!
Challenge: Can we live out the hope of Christ every day? Can we make each day count for God? Will we allow God’s compassion and comfort to heal us in our time of need? We will have the conviction to believe in the resurrection and find hope? Ecclessiastes 3:11-14 say “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.”
Now may we live in remembrance of others and for our living Lord and Savior knowing that we have the hope of eternal life and a calling to live this life for Him now and forever more.
“May God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon, and lift his countenance upon you and give you His peace.” Amen.