"Memorial Day Was Meant to Reconcile"
(Lillian Daniel, Pastor and author of "This Odd and Wondrous Calling")

5-25-2013 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #737
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

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Story of the Week
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Memorial Day Was Meant to Reconcile
Lillian Daniel, Pastor and author of "This Odd and Wondrous Calling"

Memorial Day began in this country after the Civil War as an effort toward reconciliation between the families of veterans in the North and the South. After the war, there was already a tradition in the North of decorating soldiers' graves, called "Decoration Day." But in 1868 an organization of Northern war veterans decreed it ought to be a national holiday. May 30 was carefully chosen as the date because it was not the anniversary of a specific battle, and therefore would be a neutral date for both sides.

But human beings hold on to their wounds, and reconciliation takes time, grace and mercy. So initially, as the holiday spread, it was an occasion for both sides to give angry speeches about the wartime atrocities inflicted by the other side, and the righteousness of their own.

However, as time went on, Memorial Day really did become a time to remember all veterans, a time to visit the graves of family and friends, and to remember their lives.

In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill moved three holidays off of their specific dates and onto Mondays, in order to create three-day weekends. Memorial Day came to be associated with the beginning of summer, as well as the Indianapolis 500, and sales at the malls.

Today, let us remember the spirit in which the day was conceived, as a way to bring together those who had once been bitter enemies. After the fighting is over, the loss and heartbreak are shared throughout the human family. God's mercy pours out over all God's children, with no respect for the borders of nation states.

Here in my city of Chicago, as NATO gathers amid displays of military force as well as protests, I pray for comfort for all those who have lost a loved one to the ravages of war. I pray that the peace of Christ, which passes all human understanding, will knit together this weary and war-torn world.

From the perspective of history, our national boundaries seem so fluid, changing throughout the years. From the perspective of eternity, those same national boundaries seem meaningless, since one day we will be reunited in the memory of the one who created us all.

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Pastor's Quote of the Week
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        One of the most amazing earmarks of religious living is that dynamic and sublime peace, that peace which passes all human understanding, that cosmic poise which betokens the absence of all doubt and turmoil. Such levels of spiritual stability are immune to disappointment. Such religionists are like the Apostle Paul, who said: “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else shall be able to separate us from the love of God.”

(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-100 Section-6)

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        May the Peace of Your Love Infect us All!!!

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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