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What is one of the most undervalued holidays in America? Memorial Day is the answer. Surprisingly, it was originally called Decoration Day, a day to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while fighting for freedom in the military. Five illustrations are listed to help church leaders start the conversation for a Memorial Day Sermon.

Walk of Hope

In the early 1950s, E.M. Stuart is credited for being the brainchild of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This legendary walk was created to celebrate the glory and glamor of Hollywood. Sadly, urban decay began to slowly deteriorate the area. Community leaders decided to expand the stars and increase the number of recipients. In contrast, Memorial Day celebrates the unsung heroes who sacrificed their liberty for our freedom. For a Memorial Day sermon, share how Christ took the walk of hope to Calvary.

Peace in the Valley

In the 1930s, a young man learned that Hitler was planning to send troops into Western Europe. One day, as he rode through the countryside of the Midwest, he saw several animals nestled in a serene environment. What can humanity learn from animals? As a result, the song Peace in the Valley was born. The songwriter was gospel music patriarch, Thomas Dorsey. Memorial Day reminds us of the dark and harmful  effects of war.  Our liberty was perpetuated through blood, sweat, and tears. Spiritually, Christ offers not seasonal peace, but a lifetime of joy that is not contingent on circumstances.

Armor  On

In the mid 1990s, a college football player grew weary of ruining t-shirts as result of profuse sweating during grueling practices. Every other day, it seemed as though his shirts were utterly damaged. His frustration led him to create a shirt that would endure extreme conditions and establish a company that would revolutionize the fitness industry. The company’s name is Under Armor. Its mantra is to make great products and back them with a universal guarantee of performance. Our nation’s service men and women are the product of excellent training and inward perseverance. God provides a greater sense of protection through His son Jesus as one thinks about Memorial Day. A believer’s under armor consists of faith, hope, and grace. We must never leave home without our armor.

Badge of Courage

Badges serve as a sign of respect and devout commitment to an organization. In 1875, the Secret Service’s Chief Whitley decided to redesign its badge. The new version featured a star embossed figure that represented the agency’s five core values: justice, duty, courage, honesty and loyalty. Many service men and women took the ultimate sacrifice by dying for the citizens of our beloved country. Although their physical badge tarnished, their rich legacy remains. As believers, it is imperative to use our lives as badges of honor for Christ. “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 -KJV)

Rock Solid Faith

The Rock of Gibraltar is a small peninsula  located off the coast of Spain. This tiny area is home to 30,000 residents. Do not underestimate the magnitude of the island’s influence. For hundreds of years, the United Kingdom and Spain have quarreled over this small gem. A large number of  military service individuals are caught in the crossfire of minor conflicts in the earth. Throughout our journey in life, we must allow God to help us through times of conflict.

Storms of Life

The Weather Channel reports that in 1814, British forces planned to burn down the White House. As a result, they gathered all of their weapons and sought to utterly destroy the nation’s iconic structure. Ironically, a violent thunderstorm hit the area, the very night the British planned to invade. As a result, their infamous plan was foiled and they hurriedly exited Washington, D.C. Although the White House stands as a tall  beacon of security and strength, many brave men and women have lost their lives during tumultuous storms we call war. Life can also seem like a storm but Jesus will rescue us out of calamity – the peace of Jesus can be the subject a powerful Memorial Day sermon.

Conclusion

In closing, Memorial Day celebrates the life and legacy of fallen soldiers. Illustrations aid in bringing new life and focus on the bravery of the armed forces. Ultimately, Christ provides the peace we need for our everyday battles as well as comfort throughout a Memorial Day Sermon.

E. Allen Williams, serves as pastor of  The Rock Church in Shreveport, LA. He is married to his beautiful wife, Dazetta. Recently, he received his International Professional Development Training Certification from Texas A&M University. Currently, he is completing his Doctorate in Christian Education at Louisiana Baptist University. Visit therocklife.org for more information.

 

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