Memorial Day

Memorial Day.

In my family, we venture every year to our family cemeteries, as many do. There is a country cemetery, between Sterling and Marlow, where many of my ancestors are buried – great grandparents, great aunts and uncles, cousins, and even a great-great grandmother. The cemetery is not near anything, although originally there was a Methodist church there.

Memorial Day has become a time to honor the memory of family and friends who have died. In earlier times, it was specifically for those who had died in war. As I looked this up, I found that in the U.S., it was for many years only Decoration Day for those who had died in the Civil War. The Civil War – our war at home – something of a family war I suppose.

We always hear that it is important to remember history, to not make the same mistakes over again. But families come to internal fighting again and again – whether it is among divided relatives, or in our divided nation, or in our divided church, as we United Methodists are currently struggling with. Within the next year, we will know whether there will be ecclesiastical civil war or uneasy unity. Where the national divisions will lead is anybody's guess. In each case, some will suffer. Prayers for a heathy outcome will help all of us.