By the Reverend Canon Caleb J. Lee,
President of the Standing Committee for the Diocese of South Carolina
Today is Memorial Day. It is a day hallowed in this country, to remember and honor the great sacrifice that has been given by hundreds of thousands of service men and women who have protected and defended and fought for this country in times of war and in times of peace. I am reminded that the very earliest imprints of what Memorial Day is now began in what is today Hampton Park in Charleston, at the end of the Civil War, when freed slaves paraded around the Washington Race Course and Jockey Club honoring the Union soldiers who died fighting for their freedom. Don’t believe me? Check out the New York Times article at this link.
I am also reminded of a news article I read this past week that only 1 in 4 Americans actually know what today is about. But those who know what it means or who are directly impacted by it as they remember family members or friends who have died, they know what this day is about. It is about remembering service and sacrifice. It is about honoring service and sacrifice. It is about giving thanks for service and sacrifice. And this day of remembrance, at its best, unites us in solidarity around Jesus’ new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends.
The good news of Jesus Christ is that he has laid down his life for you, for me, and for the whole world. He has given of himself fully for you, for me, and for the whole world. In his laying down of his own life and rising to life again he has freed us from the power of sin and death. How might we honor and remember those today who have given the ultimate sacrifice?
Happy Memorial Day!
During the uncertain times created by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, leadership of the diocese will send out regular meditations on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays for the next while as we all adjust to a new chapter of living and being the Church.