Here is your e-votional for Memorial Day Weekend…
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.’ And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
-Revelation 21
When we are in France we are taking a family trip to Normandy.  I am very excited about this trip as D-Day has held an almost mythical place in my imagination since childhood, when I would spend Memorial Day watching classic World War II movies on TNT.  For my children, however, World War II is not alive in their minds and so when I informed them that we would be going to Normandy, with some ballyhoo I might add, I was met with a shrug.  In response, I forced them to watch the 3 hour, 1962 classic, “The Longest Day” starring John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum and a cast of thousands.  As I watched the movie, and as I considered those soldiers as they prepared to storm the beaches, I felt the same stirrings I did as a child.  I was overcome with awe for their courage and their sacrifice.  For me, D-Day was one of the most important days of the 20th Century.

But it is also a heartbreaking day, not merely because so many of those men died, and so many more were scarred for life, but because D-Day and the war which it sought to end are a symptom of the brokenness of this world. While it is vital that we honor those who serve and served in the military, and we remember the sacrifice of our forebears, we should be wary of ever glorifying war itself.  War is a symptom of our separation from God and one another.

Consider the words above from John in Revelation.  He is writing of his vision of the end of all things, and it is stirring.  All things will be made new, and humanity will dwell in perfect harmony with God and by extension one another.  And critically he writes, “death will be no more.”  The end of death marks not only the end of the trap of mortality but also the end of that great scourge which has plagued humanity; war.  There will be no more war.

This Memorial Day, as we look back on those who fell in the wars this nation has waged we are right to honor their service and sacrifice.  We are also wise to keep one eye on the horizon, toward that day in the future when this world will finally be redeemed, when the New Jerusalem will descend, and when there will be no more death.  War, however necessary, is a symptom of our separation for God, and those who fight and die are victims of that separation.  Let us pray that today, we be reconciled to God once and for all.

Prayer:  Holy God, we pray for those who serve in our military, we ask that you keep them safe.  And we pray for those fighting around the world, that soon wars may cease, and peace may come upon the earth.  We know that Jesus Christ is the prince of peace, and we turn our hopes to him once more in the hope that we may be reconciled to God, and live in harmony with God and one another forever.  It is in Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.