The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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      Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day began as a time to remember soldiers who died during the Civil War. Families and communities gathered on May 30 each year to decorate the graves of these fallen soldiers with flowers and other commemorative items. After World Wars I & II and the Korean War and in the midst of the Vietnam War, Congress established Memorial Day as a federal holiday to encourage American citizens to remember our soldiers who had paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The last Monday of May was declared as the appointed time for this special observance.     
      On the Sunday evening before Memorial Day at a church where I once had the privilege of serving as pastor, a special time of remembrance was held for families who had lost loved ones in the twelve months since the previous Memorial Day. As names were called, family members would come to the front of the sanctuary and hold a lighted candle. This memorial service not only was meaningful for the relatives of these deceased friends but the experience of prayer and singing also had an impact on the congregation as a whole. (Although not occurring on Memorial Day, I receive a blessing each year at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Baptist Convention when the roll call of deceased Mississippi Baptist pastors and other ministers is presented).  

As you think about our country this Memorial Day and remember our heroic military personnel who died protecting our freedoms, don’t forget to remember that/to:

  • “Greater love has no man than this than to lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13);
  • “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12);
  • “Praise the Lord…and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:1-2);
  • “The wicked return to the grave, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17);


      As you reflect on Christian servants – whether family members or others – who have died during the past year, don’t forget to remember that:

  • “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15);
  • “The memory of the righteous will be a blessing…” (Proverbs 10:7);


      Because this coming Sunday is the fifth Sunday in May and many churches observe the Lord’s Supper on the fifth Sunday, I anticipate that communion tables across our land will be set up for this special memorial ordinance. Whether your church observes the Lord’s Supper this week or not, may I encourage you always not to forget to remember that:

  • “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me…this cup is the new covenant in my blood, do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. For whenever you eat this bread and drink cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:24-26);
  • “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).


Dear Heavenly Father, As a citizen of this great country, thank you for those whose sacrifice made the freedoms that I enjoy possible. As a brother, thank you for the unheralded ministry of my deceased sister who made an impact on the lives of countless numbers of people who I have never met but who I anticipate seeing in heaven. As a Christian, thank you for the sacrifice of your son who made salvation possible through his death on the cross. With thanksgiving in my heart, may I never forget to remember. Amen.