Receiving the message from the grave

For many people, Memorial Day weekend is a time for picnics, parties and the beginning of summer.

But Memorial Day is much more than that. It is a time to remember our fallen heroes. We remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. Even today, brave men and women still are giving their lives to protect our freedoms as battles and wars continue.

In Genesis chapter 4:1-8, the Bible records for us the first family to ever lose a son in battle. Man was not on the Earth very long before war broke out. Abel was the first casualty in a righteous cause, and man’s sinful nature causes this tragedy to repeat itself over and over. In our country today, we see our young men and women losing their lives.

Abel’s grave is a reminder of the sinfulness of man. Sin is still a problem in our society. Any attempts to fix our problems without addressing the problem of sin will only lead to failure.

Tougher laws will not fix the problems, but what will help is when we teach the laws — God’s laws. Sin is the root cause of oppression and greed, which if not handled correctly, can lead to war.

Abel’s grave reminds us of the shortness of life. He was a young man when he died. How quickly life passes by. We are also reminded of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Though Abel was young, he was ready to meet God. He came to God with his sacrifice in faith.

Abel’s grave reminds us of the span of a righteous life. He lived a short time, but his grave still speaks to us.

The truth is that the length of our life of faith is not limited by physical death. Consider the impacts that your life is making in our world today. Heroes of the faith influence us long after death. The graves of our American heroes remind us of their devotion and personal sacrifices.

As we remember out nation’s heroes who gave their all for the cause of freedom, let us also remember the one who died to give us eternal life. The American soldier who died for your freedom will never be forgotten. Jesus Christ who died for your sins will also be remembered. How do you respond to such great love?

There is a day coming when people will remember you as they stand by your grave. What will they remember about you? Have you given your life unselfishly to benefit someone else? Will you be remembered for the sacrifices of love you made?

Life is short, let’s not waste another minute, but let us step up and do our part to make a difference in our community.

Let us never forget those who gave their all for us, and may we follow in their footsteps to make a difference for someone else.

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day.

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)