This time of the year in America makes us think of those we've lost to war in our nation's history. Do your beliefs contribute to the strife, or do they promote peace?
[Darris McNeely] It’s called Memorial Day in America. It’s the fourth Monday of every May. Other nations have days in which they remember their war dead, but on Memorial Day, by tradition, a lot of people go to the cemeteries and they place flowers and flags upon the graves of those who have died in service to their country and they remember the dead. Perhaps today people don’t do that quite as often – there are a lot of other activities, races, picnics, and other events that take people’s time, but this is what it was all about. It was a time to remember the dead and those who died in war.
I remember doing that with my mother when she would want to do that when I was a child. And it was a few years ago that I was listening to a news commentator talk about Memorial Day and the numbers of his own friends who had died, in his case, in World War II. And he made the point that we remember the dead, we go to their graves, we place the flowers, not for their sakes because in a sense they don’t remember. They don’t know what’s going on. But we do it for our sakes. And the point that he made in his particular commentary was what we really need is a new religion. A new religion so that men would learn the lessons of war and not do that again, and not create more graves, more cemeteries, more suffering, more widows, more orphans, more suffering, which continues to go on and on and on in the world today – because the lessons of war have not been learned.
This new religion is really the religion of God. It is the religion of the Bible. It is the religion of the true God and of His Son and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It is a religion that changes the heart, that turns the mind from thoughts of hate and anger to thoughts of peace, humility, and submission, cooperation, and thoughts that bring peace and cooperation to all peoples at all times. We don’t have that yet. We continue to see a world that suffers from war. And so, as we look at Memorial Day, as we look at our own selves, I ask you this question: Look at your religion. Look at your belief. Does it promote peace? Or does it promote strife? What is it that we need to remember? What is it that we might need to learn?
A scripture from Isaiah where it talks about beating their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, from Isaiah chapter 2. It’s a scripture for all of us to remember on Memorial Day and every day, and ask ourselves whether or not our religion, our philosophy, our way of life, produces peace to end war, to end the suffering. If we can ask ourselves that question, and if we can come to perhaps a different answer this year, then we might do more to learn the lessons that are really there when we go to memorialize anyone who has lost their life in war. That’s something to think about on this Memorial Day.
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