During our six years here in Staunton, one of our traditions has been to attend the Memorial Day service at Gypsy Hill Park sponsored by one of the VFW Posts. It is always a meaningful service that honors those who have fallen in service to their country. I’ve included some pictures in a slide show.
In a couple of weeks, our churches will transform. They will feature blazing red colors. Various artworks depicting the descent of the Holy Spirit will be on display. Clergy will don their red vestments. Acts 2 will be read once more, and hymns featuring the Holy Spirit will be sung. Finally, the long Easter celebration is over. Let’s move onto something different – for an hour on a Sunday morning at least. All of the brouhaha that is Lent and Easter is over, and thus begins the long season excitingly dubbed The Season after Pentecost. Wow. Two millennia of Christian tradition, and after is the best we could come up with?
I always wondered why the Christian Church only celebrated Pentecost one day out of the entire year. Why did the Church not see fit to give Pentecost a season to call its own?
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans — established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.
Today I encourage you to remember those who have fallen in service to our country. If you are able, I encourage you to find a local Memorial Day service. If you are here in Augusta County, there is a beautiful service held at the Gypsy Hill Park Bandstand. It starts at 10 AM and features the music of the Stonewall Jackson Brigade Band.
Remember those who have fallen in service to our country and especially pray for those who are missing a loved one as a result.
I know that I mentioned this last week, but since the anniversary date fell much closer to today than last Sunday, I thought I would mention it again. Nine years ago on a Sunday Night, this little blog, known then as Virginia Transplant began. Little did I know that I would outlast a whole bunch of other blogs. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Mark Wilson for the encouragement to start.
This past week the blog fell silent – I wasn’t feeling very inspired and those times have happened from time to time. Hopefully this week will be better and I’ll have some original thoughts to share as well as some great articles from other writers.
The Kids are Coming
This may be the thing that keeps me from doing too much writing this week. Our kids from Canada will be heading our way. We miss them so much and we look forward to this week together. It will be fun!
Yesterday, Pam and I and Anna and James took the trip up to York, PA to visit with Pam’s family. We had a great time and a fun picnic. We played a great, yet different version of Frisbee Golf. James is quite the Frisbee thrower. It was a bit cool and because of that we didn’t realize the amount of sun we got. Both James and I got a bit of sunburn. It is always great to see family.
We are still in a state of transition. Do we know where we are going yet? No, but slowly I believe the Lord is revealing where He is leading. I would encourage you to keep you in our prayers and we will be keeping you updated as we seek the Lord’s will.
Today was Pentecost Sunday – the birthday of the Church. You will notice I used the large C indicating the church universal. Today we celebrated the Holy Spirit filling the believers in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. Peter preached a message and 3000 people were saved that day and the world has not been the same since. I had a different worship team (Pam and Stephanie) helped me out on vocals and did a great job. We had a new person on sound and were training someone on video. All in all I thought it went well. The Holy Spirit’s presence was evident in the service.
Tomorrow is Memorial Day – the day we remember those who lost their lives for the freedom of our country. We plan on going to a local Memorial Day service that is held in Gypsy Hill Park. This is a Memorial Day tradition for us as we remember…Remembering is a great thing to do…it is important to look back as we build a bridge to the future.
Wrapping It Up
My prayer is that you have an awesome week – that God will reveal Himself to you in new ways – that that you always live for Him. Seize the Day!
Today almost passed without me mentioning Aldersgate Day. Some may wonder what that is. With all the excitement of Pentecost Sunday and tomorrow being Memorial Day here, I forgot about this little known day in Christian history.
What is Aldersgate Day?
Aldersgate Day is celebrated on May 24 (or the Sunday closest) to commemorate the day in 1738 when John Wesley experienced assurance of his salvation. Wesley reluctantly attended a group meeting that evening on Aldersgate Street in London. As he heard a reading from Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans, he felt his “heart strangely warmed.” Wesley wrote in his journal that at about 8:45 p.m. “while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”
Charles Wesley only a few days before had also had a conversion experience in the same place. The building where the meetings took place no longer exists. Aldersgate Street has been shortened by common Methodist usage to simply Aldersgate. The word has come to represent both the place and the experience.
Since Wesleyans derive much of their theology from John Wesley, this is a great day to commemorate. I find it interesting that this year Pentecost and Aldersgate fell on the same day. Pretty cool if you ask me. So Happy Aldersgate Day!