SAVING PRIVATE YOU. A SERMON ABOUT MEMORIAL DAY BY MARIO MURILLO
I know that this will come as a shock…today is not a day about buying a car or a sofa. It is also not a day we honor veterans, we do that on Veteran’s day in November. No, today is about stopping to remember that someone died for you. Someone made the ultimate sacrifice. They died to give us the freedoms so many abuse today.
Memorial Day was first known as “Decoration Day.” It is not hard to guess why. The nation would visit graves of fallen heroes and leave flowers and other tokens of gratitude and honor.
In the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan attached above, we see, perfectly depicted, the right response of a soul that knows someone died to save them.
One of Satan’s masterstrokes is to cheapen holy days. He has done this for thousands of years. To blur, devalue or even utterly redefine a holy day is his stock and trade.
We see this at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. The meaning and intent of a solemn or joyous day is sapped by banal and bankrupt counterfeits. Why does Satan do this?
The answer is clearly seen in the incident of King Jeroboam. Jeroboam seized power from the House of David by using the anger of Israel toward Solomon’s son Rehoboam. The Jews rejected Rehoboam after he vowed to raise taxes and reduce services to the people.
1 Kings 12: 26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. 27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.”
Likewise Satan knows that Holy Days can trigger a return to values and subsequently a return to God in our nation.
Our president is steering us the way Jeroboam steered Israel by cheapening or redefining American Holy Days.
The proof is in the fact that he:
-Regularly skips the National Day of Prayer.
– Renamed the National Christmas Tree the “Holiday Tree.”
-Went golfing on Memorial Day in 2009 and 2011; this despite the fact that George W. Bush refused to do it as president to honor the parents of those who lost loved ones.
Recently I took criticism for pointing out that as Memorial Day weekend began Obama did not return the salute to the Marine who saluted him at the door of Marine One helicopter. Obama fans noted that he corrected this by stepping back outside the Helicopter and talking with the soldier.
My point is that there is no excuse for this oversight. It smacks of a mind detached from honoring our military.
As the leader goes so go the sheep. Memorial Day finds us oblivious to the treasure that families have spent to guarantee our freedom.
In a very real way we are all Private Ryan. Satan wants to bury that fact.
Memorial Day cuts me to the heart that all over our nation there are moms and dads who have lost sons and daughters and they did it for you and me. Memorial Day also fuels my rage against our government’s tendency to take away the freedoms that our fallen heroes died to protect.
As an evangelist, I am constantly preaching a message about the One who died for us all, which is another reason why I am adamant about Memorial Day.
Satan did not want Israel to remember their Holidays, days and remembrances that could lead back to God. Wonder what Satan thinks Americans might realize if they think long and hard about someone dying for them?