It is a cold, cloudy day at the end of May, here in Minnesota. My heart is drawn, every year, to Lakewood Cemetery and its faithful celebration of Memorial Day.
Churches may let this day pass, with the great hymns of our country not sung, with the connection between God and this land of His, not lifted up, but the cemeteries do not, and preachers come to pray, and singers of soul sing the changes in the delicate and deep hymns of faith that America cherishes, and crowds of gray-haired folks gather in increasing numbers to hear the Police Band play, and an elder officer sing his heart out, and Robert Robinson and friends sing their souls and ours, and wise messages of history are delivered. We greet a few dear friends, and go away glad we came, and glad for those who care, and see that those celebrations happen and that we are welcome to weep at God's love for our land.
I am saddened by those who are embarrassed at our flag, and at any connections between our faith and our country. The secularism of their Enlightenment tendencies has made them cynical about some of the most precious gifts God has given them - of a free land in which to live, defended by lives freely given by the young, and served, often for lifetimes, by people who simply chose to work for the public good.
This land, and its call to its own, is a strange and wonderful phenomenon in this day of mounting cynicism and self-promotion.
Jesus' call to the cross and to the specific giving of our lives away, is the antidote to the great hope of any heart that wants to be humbled, and purified, and refreshed and renewed these springtime days.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES