Tuesday, November 09, 2004
HONOR THE DEAD BY HELPING THE LIVING
A Veteran's Gravesite
Honor the Dead by Helping the Living
by Janice Price
It is time once again for Buddy Poppies. Volunteers from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW will be standing outside businesses offering a small flower for a donation of one dollar. Disabled American veterans assemble the poppies and the proceeds are used to help veterans in nursing homes and in the community.
I never gave any thought to what these poppies represent or why they are sold until last year when I was given information to put into a short announcement for the local media. What caught my attention was the phrase, "Please honor the dead by helping the living." When I consider it, this phrase is appropriate for Christians.
For many of us, a great Aunt Sally, a grade school teacher, a church member or a parent has set an example of service we strive to emulate, established a tradition of love we want to pass on to others, or taught us valuable truths that have improved our lives. Although each of them has passed from this physical life, their lessons remain with us.
We honor our deceased by helping the living. We pass on their wisdom and teachings by word and action as we live by what we learned from their examples. We enrich our own lives as well as the lives of others as we do this.
In Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV), we read: What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
We honor God’s deceased servants by helping the living. Some of their mistakes and successes have been recorded that we might learn invaluable lessons for our own spiritual journey. We help our families, friends, neighbors and even strangers as we put the lessons into practice.
Before Jesus could be resurrected, he first had to die. There is much wisdom and insight we can glean from the Biblical record of his three and a half years of ministry. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus says, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
Our lives will be enriched as we learn from Jesus’ example and help the living.
© 2004 Janice Price