It was an honor this morning, despite the rain, to gather with my fellow citizens of Brighton in prayers for our beloved dead this Memorial Day at Evergreen Cemetery. My thanks to Ann Larosee and her family and friends for making this all possible! Here is the brief reflection I offered:
In the upper room, the night before he died, Jesus took bread and wine, and gave us his Body and Blood, and then turned to them and said five words. Five words which echo through the years and are heard between the pines and the rain of this memorial day morning: "Do this in memory of me."
He is calling us to remember:
To remember his life-giving cross and the hope of the Resurrection;
To remember all who have loved us, and especially those whom we commend today to his loving embrace;
To remember the men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion to a country founded on the God-given liberty of its citizens;
To remember the Brighton farmer who once picked up his musket to defend his family and consecrate the ground of a new nation with his blood;
To remember the young son of Brighton who died in a battlefield far from home that his nation might be safe from fascist tyrannies across two great oceans;
To remember the young people of our community who still lay down their lives at our service across the globe.
We remember them, and we beg God to reward their for their heroism, their self-sacrifice and their love of us and our country and all for which it stands.
Just as we beg God to lead gently home to himself all who have died, and especially those buried in this place and especially those whose memory still aches in our hearts.
Forgive their sins, O Lord, and lead them home to a place of eternal refreshment, light and peace. And help us never to forget: the love, the sacrifice and lives who have touched us, who give us courage and who have made us who we are.