Weatherford Democrat

May 24, 2014

PASTOR POPHIN: Remembering on Memorial Day


Weatherford Democrat

WEATHERFORD —

By Pastor Tommy Pophin

You remember the dates: July 4, 1776; April 12, 1861; June 28, 1914; December 7, 1941; June 25, 1950; somewhere between 1955 and 1959; and Sept. 11, 2001. These are all significant dates. If you don’t know what they mean, look them up.

The one that stands out most in my mind is Sept. 11, 2001. The only reason why that date stands out so strongly is because I remember what I was doing when I heard the news. I was dropping my son and daughter off at the Mother’s Day Out program at First Baptist Church in Mineral Wells. As I entered the building just before 9 a.m., people were already talking about a plane that struck the World Trade Center. Initially, I thought some kind of accident had taken place. As I traveled to my office, reporters were telling the story of the first crash when the noise of the crowd began to rise. And then the second one happened. I immediately went to a friend’s house and we sat and watched as things unfolded throughout the day.

Most of you who are reading this article remember the events of that day.

This is Memorial Day Weekend. A national holiday which asks us to do one thing: remember. I have attended several military style dinners called “Dine-Ins.” At the Dine-In is a table at which no one sits. It is decorated with symbolic items and has one seat. It is the POW/MIA table and is thus reserved in honor and memory of those who are either classified as “Prisoners of War” or “Missing In Action.” Before dinner is served, a script is read which includes pauses in which those present simply say the word “remember.” If you have never had the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful ceremony, you have missed a treat.

On this Memorial Day weekend, take some time to stop, remember and appreciate what has been done for you. The old saying, “No man is an island,” applies here, especially in reference to our freedom. Kelly Strong, a young cadet in the JROTC program, wrote a poem in 1981, entitled “Freedom is Not Free” in honor of his father who served as a Marine in Vietnam. The very title of the poem is enough to remind us of the importance of Memorial Day.           

In Psalm 143:5-6, David writes, “I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.” As we read these words, we are reminded of someone else who we must remember; Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus, even more than those who have served our country, sacrificed His life for us. In John 15:13, we find these words, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Even though these words can apply to what our military personnel have done for us, they were written about Jesus, Himself.

Of all the activities you are involved in this Memorial Day weekend, don’t forget the most important, Remember!

God Bless you! Have a great week! Participate in church this weekend! Trust Jesus!

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Tommy Pophin is the pastor of Beulah Baptist Church.