We chatted this morning about our bucket list. Strangely, for me it’s always been Poland and specifically a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. For Karen, I was surprised (even after all these years) that it was Normandy and Omaha Beach. I suspect that we’re internally connected to these places as there is an undefined deep significance for us. Karen’s father served in the Army intelligence language division in North Africa and my father a Navy sailor in transport to the pacific as the war was concluding.  Neither were physically wounded but surely they were impacted from the reality of war.  There was not much conversation regarding this time in their life.  (After my father died we discover an old USO 45 vinyl record of my father sending a message to his mother and father.)

It’s Memorial Day. A national holiday to remember and to acknowledge the many people who have died in military conflicts. According to PBS, the total of deaths from USA wars is estimated at over 1.1 million. Memorial Day is a commemoration day of remembrance.  Somewhere I read: “We are acknowledging as a community—a nation—people who died in military conflicts. Days, moments, or rituals of solemnity serve an important role in our communal and spiritual act of remembering. Acts of remembering can teach us and guide us if we open ourselves to learning from them—a second, third or hundredth time.”  What do we need to continue learning from commemorating Memorial Day?

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 2:2-4
In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Reflection Questions:
Who do you need to remember?
What acts will you be remembered for?
What will help you walk on the path of deeper faithfulness?

Prayer:
Holy God, remind me to lift up my eyes unto you, for you bring me help and fill me with courage.  Keep my remembrances strong that as I walk in your ways of peace.  Let me learn the path of faithfulness. Amen.

 

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