In the United States, the fourth Monday of every May is Memorial Day, a national holiday created so that the people of our nation would pause and give thanks for all those who gave their lives in service to our country in the armed forces. The purpose of the holiday is to remember those who gave everything for the freedoms each one of us enjoy. We remember these sacrifices through parades, picnics, and solemn ceremonies throughout our communities and our country.
On this Memorial weekend, I am reminded that central to our faith is the concept of memorial. As members of the Reformed Tradition, Presbyterians regularly celebrate two sacraments – baptism and the Lord’s Supper. In baptism, water signifies that we are cleansed from sin. In the Lord’s Supper, the broken bread and the shared cup symbolize the sacrifice of Christ to give
us resurrection life.
These sacraments are important parts of our worship. They signify our membership in the church universal, and our participation in the community of faith that is Charles Town Presbyterian Church. They are meaningful, powerful reminders of what Christ has done for us. To that end. these two sacraments are also memorials. Every time we celebrate the sacraments, we
remember that Christ gave his life to make us free of sin. In fact, Jesus tells (and we say as part of the litany) to “do this in remembrance of me.”
What makes this coming Sunday of Memorial Day weekend so special this year is that both sacraments are being celebrated as part of our worship services. At the 8:30 service, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper as part of regular service, and at the 11:00 service, one of our older youth will be baptized! Sunday is also Trinity Sunday, and so it is wonderful timing to remember all that God has done for us!
I hope you are able to include worship and celebration of the sacraments as part of this special weekend where we remember the sacrifice of those who died for our country, and the sacrifice of the One who died to grant us eternal life.