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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Reliving Our Yesterdays Today"

May 30, 2005

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I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all Your works. Psalm 143:5

Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher and lay theologian, wrote: “It is not worthwhile remembering the past if it cannot become the present.”

On Memorial Day, once known as Decoration Day, we remember the deceased members of our military forces, especially those who gave their lives for their country. The observance becomes meaningful as we, the living, follow their example, serving in the present as they did in the past. When we remember the loyalty and devotion of those who have preceded us, we honor them and keep their memory alive for good purposes by emulating them as we carry out our civil and military duties and complete the tasks that remain.

The time of sacrifice for our country – for its government and people – is not past. There is much for us to do. We have battlefields of one kind or another in our midst, if not of a military nature then certainly of a civil nature. Our enemy, if not foreign, is domestic and lurks within. Vices vie with virtues. Laws are flouted, dishonesty is practiced, people are robbed and killed on the streets, drugs are misused and lead to crime. It is time for all citizens today to rise to the heights of patriotism so that the faithful service rendered in the past will be repeated in the present.

Memorial Day also prompts us as Christians to remember our departed parents, teachers, pastors, and missionaries. These veterans of the cross were the servants of Jesus Christ, whose salvation they embraced and proclaimed. Truly, “the memory of the righteous will be a blessing” (Proverbs 10:7). Holy Scripture bids us, “Remember your leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7). The writer adds the reason for such constancy: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). When we honor our Lord, as did those who preceded us, we cause the past to become the present.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord God for our past leaders. May our current leaders follow Your commands, and guide us to set good Christian examples for others. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at

Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 31, 35    John 11:30-57

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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