We love because God first loved us. (1st John 4:10)
Memorial Day is the day that we remember loved ones – whether by going to the cemetery with flowers or looking at pictures or remembering stories of times together.
We also remember those who we do not know but who gave their lives in service to their country. Showing love for their neighbors in their service and ultimately giving their lives for our freedom.
Memorial Day is about memories. Last year on Memorial Day a man was killed at 38th and Chicago by a police office putting pressure on his neck, squeezing the life out of him. It was captured by a teenager on a cell phone video. The video went viral and protests and violence and fires ensued. The event is a sad part of our history. But it also sparked peaceful protest, greater awareness of racial injustice, conversation about how to right past wrongs and beautiful artwork. Out of this terrible situation, new life and hope are springing forth. New cries for justice. New understanding of what it means to love one another and to live together in society. To make opportunities available for all people.
On this Memorial Day, we pray:
God, our refuge and strength, you have bound us together in a common life. In all our conflicts help us to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, to listen for your voice amid competing claims, and to work together with mutual respect, through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.