Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” NIV
On May 30th, 1868, “for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion” was issued General Orders No. 11 by General John A. Logan after the ending of the Civil War. What we now called Memorial Day was originally named Decoration Day by this Grand Army of the Republic General.
Its official federal renaming was in 1967 and its declaration as a national holiday in 1971. Recognized nowadays on the last Monday of May, we honor the deceased military men and women of the various branches of the United States Armed Forces. These soldiers fought and died to preserve our freedoms and serve our country. We Americans venerate them with parades and festivities, ceremonies and reflective observances. This particular year to watch the National Memorial Day Concert which occurs on the West Lawn of the Washington DC Capitol is how I chose to acknowledge the day.
One particular tribute performed by acclaimed actors Dennis Haysbert and Joe Mantegna was somberly gripping. An experience between two very different men who became like brothers during the Vietnam War was shared with great emotion. Ernest “Pete” Peterson who is Black and from the South and Brad Kennedy who is White and from the North proved that devotion overcomes division. During the time of Civil Rights Movements with racial clashes being at fought in their home country America; they were fighting against another people while still there were documented interracial clashes happening in the military abroad. Yet these men in united front, faced the same enemy, moving in like commonality for one joint cause. As Christians we are enrolled to do the same! See our cause is Christ, our enemy the Devil, our home country is heaven with God and our commonality is the Holy Spirit! We remember Christ every day to the glory of God. Each day is authentically Memorial Day. For out of all noble objectives, no mission is more ideal than the glorious plan of God.
I am prompted to disclose a personal story about my journey to overcome racial prejudice. For to become truly united with the diverse cultures within the kingdom of God is a prayer of the Lord! For the bible also says “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” 1John 4:20 This is difficult in these times! See I recall the first time being called the “N” word at 7 yrs old by the parents’ of a neighborhood playmate. Being told not to play with him anymore, is a thorn that pricks my memory whenever I face racism today. My spiritual strategy is to battle thoughts and revengeful action with the memorized scriptures from God’s word. Furthermore, I must forgive others and I am telling you- it is more challenging still. I am not perfect but am being made perfect through the sufficient blood of the Lamb. For He is also witnessing nightly news, my son and his friends upset over a recent police harassment and the prolific, ignored injustices faced internationally. But understand one thing-our Great Shepherd sees it all. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. To truly attain the fullness of Christ is to allow the waters of baptism to continually wash and overflow our hearts with His love—especially for our haters. Prov 20:22, Eph 4:31-32; 1 Thes 5:15
Concern (C): Sister, be honest do you hold any prejudices/discrimination in our heart against others based on-age, gender, weight, politics, religion and ethnicity?
Encouragement (E): As a daughter of Christ let’s crucify and continually put to death our bigotries. Along with the all other sins such as murder, lying, adultery etc- Jesus died. Remember Him when He spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, that’s two prejudices he conquered right there, etc. Samaritans were considered half-breeds and despised by Jews. And women were marginalized. Like Romans for Pharisees, he healed, respected and desired to seek and save all types of people. Though often ridiculed Himself and discriminated by others like Nathaniel saying “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” in John 1:46. Or the teachers of the law saying, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”, in Mark 2:13-17. Our Savior only cared to please his Commanding Officer 2 Tim 2:4.
Act (A): Sister Soldier our target should be likewise. Let us not miss out on the blessing David so sang about in Ps 31 vs. 23-24. “Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full.” Only by answering the call of duty from God, by employing in our lives true discipleship will there bring about the change in us and in others that change the course! It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love, all it takes it a few good women (and men), loving past enmity, chauvinism and every Satanic device. Sister, May God shed His Grace on Thee.
Check out this link for further info: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/top_10_strategies_for_reducing_prejudice