by Ken Harris on May 30, 2010
The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to affirm to others – while tears, pain, and death still exist – to set aside time to commemorate those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom in which all Americans enjoys.
U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris, Jr. West Fort Hood Chapel
Memorial Day Worship Service Killeen, TX
30 May 2010
Soldiers (and family members of military members) should set aside time to commemorate those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom in which all Americans enjoy daily.
All Theologians seem to in agreement that Revelation is the “Hardness Book in the Bible”; Note: I’m inclined to believe that Revelation is both literal and figuratively;
Revelation 22:3 (NIV) No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him; Proverbs 30:5b (KJV) weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning; Isaiah 65:17-25 (ESV); Romans 4:1-12 (NIV); Memorial Day in History (This Day in History Channel); Revelation 21:4-27 (NIV); Revelation 21:4 (NIV) He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away; Isaiah 65:17 (NIV) “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind; 2 Peter 1:12-14 (NIV) So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me; Hebrews 11:10 (NV); For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God; 2 Peter 3:10-13 (Peter’s reference to the New Heaven and New Earth); Genesis 1:1 (NIV) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; Revelation 1:9-10 (NIV) I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet;
I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: Revelation 21:4-8 (ESV)
II. READ THE PERICOPE: Revelation 21:4-8 (ESV)
III. READ THE TEXT: Revelation 21:4 (ESV) He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to affirm to others – while tears, pain, and death still exist – to set aside time to commemorate those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom in which all Americans enjoys.
V. SERMONIC THEME: “Freedom Isn’t Free”
Memory and recall is important.
It’s my opinion that it’s important for us all to remember and NOT to forget certain things.
Every married man knows that it’s important to remember and be able to recall his Wedding Date.
And, of course, every man knows the importance of remembering his wife’s birthday.
On the other hand, every wife should be reminded that “SHE CAN’T CHANGE HER HUSBAND”.
It’s important for every wife to never forget that HER HUSBAND will never be perfect!
Memory is important!
MOVE 1: Dictionary.com defines “memory” as the mental capacity … of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions … or of recalling … and recognizing previous experiences.
a. As an American Soldier or family member serving at West Fort Hood and worshipping in the West Fort Hood Community Chapel, today, many of us are living witnesses
b. AND WE, ALSO, RECALL that there is a price, and a cost associated with the freedom that we – and our fellow Americans – around the world – enjoy.
c. **Therefore, Today, I stand here to remind everyone under the sounds of my voice that it’s important to remember that “Freedom Isn’t Free”!
d. The Apostle Peter says in 2 Peter 1:12-14 (NIV) and I quote: “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.
e. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.”
f. Yes, my brothers and sisters, there is a price that is often paid for freedom!
g. This price that has to be paid … doesn’t arrive to us by way of our postal service or friendly mail carrier/mailman.
h. But, strangely enough this price has to be continuously paid in order for Americans to continue to enjoy freedom and liberty.
i. History reminds us, this morning, that the price has never been free; and it has always been paid by way of DEATH.
MOVE 2: PLEASE STAND & BOW YOUR HEADS, WITH ME, FOR
– A MOMENT OF SILENCE – IN HONOR OF THOSE THAT HAVE MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE …
a. From the Revolutionary War, – War of 1812, America Civil War, Spanish-American War, World-War 1, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan War, – through the wars currently happening simultaneously in Iraq and Afghanistan.
b. History reminds us that “FREEDOM ISN’T FREE”.
c. With no respect of gender, race or ethnic heritage – the price has always been death. “FREEDOM ISN’T FREE”.
d. Today, we – the West Fort Hood Community Chapel Congregation – commemorate those that have served, before us, and have paid the ultimate price.
e. Only 1 percent of Americans serve in our Armed Forces. Tomorrow, let us not forget that Memorial Day belongs to the fallen Soldier, the fallen Marine, the fallen Airman, and Sailor.
f. My fellow Soldiers, brothers and sisters, Memorial Day belong to those that have paid that ultimate price.
MOVE 3: We have all been witnesses by way of history books, history channels, or boots on the ground.
a. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day.
b. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers … for the purpose of … decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country …
e. … During the first celebration of Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery…
f. … after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.
MOVE 4: In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
a. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
b. By the late 1800s, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day and, after World War I, observances also began to honor those who had died in all of America’s wars.
c. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May.
d. In contrast – Veterans Day is a day we (Americans) also set aside to honor all veterans, living and dead, and it is celebrated each year on November 11.
e. On tomorrow – Monday, 31 May 2010 – Memorial Day will be celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag will be placed on each grave.
MOVE 5: It is also … customary – on Memorial Day – for the president (or vice-president) to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and …
a. … lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It is estimated about 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.
b. Many of whom will painfully share tears as they commemorate our fallen Soldiers.
c. Tears which will fall from their cheeks with salty memories of how each death must have affected the family members of those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
d. In Revelation 21:4 – The Bible reminds us all today … that although Memorial Day is very special …
e. and it’s a day that we should set aside to commemorate those that have gone before us …
f. There will come a time that believers will not always have the chance to remember …. Painful and TROUBLED TIMES …. Like Memorial Day …
MOVE 6: The very thought of memories will be obliterated by the many mercies of God.
a. God will even wipe all of our tears away (Revelation 21).
b. What wonderful changes there will be when we enter eternity!
c. Genesis 1:1 (NIV) reminds us that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
d. And in our Scripture Reading today …
e. … John the Revelator … exiled … on the Greek Island of Patmos …
f. … Reminds us all that there is COMING a time when … God will dwell personally with His people in a glorious and intimate way in the New Jerusalem.
g. There will be no more tears, death, or sorrow.
h. The curse – described in Genesis 3:14-19 – that is responsible for tears, death, and sorrow will be removed.
i. Everything that came by way of sin will be removed and WIPED away …
There will be no more Memorial Services;
No more wars or rumors of wars …
nothing associated with pain will exist any longer …
So why we still have the power to remember … lets not forget that” Freedom Isn’t Free”!