Memorial Day – Weekend Edition – 2013

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“It is for us . . . here highly [to] resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

Abraham Lincoln

 

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Memorial Days

By George Shaw Cook

From the May 30, 1936 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

* Photo – Courtesy of allposters.com

 

In some nations, days are appropriately set apart to commemorate the soldier dead and others who have sacrificed their human lives in the service of their respective countries or of mankind. While this is quite naturally to be expected of a grateful people, nevertheless there is a higher sense in which unselfish service may be honored—a way in which all days may become memorial days. The best way in which we may show our gratitude for those who have wrought valiantly and achieved much, is to emulate their example, and strive earnestly to live helpful and consecrated lives. Abraham Lincoln clearly discerned this need and concisely expressed it in his often quoted address on the battlefield of Gettysburg when dedicating the National Cemetery at that place in 1863. In this address Lincoln said, “It is for us . . . here highly [to] resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

Lincoln was not merely dedicating a cemetery—he was rededicating his hearers to the holy purpose of perpetuating a righteous government under the guidance and direction of Almighty God. We, today, should not dwell on the regrets or mistakes of a dead past, but acknowledging present good, should look forward in grateful anticipation to fuller understanding of “the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy,” and who is the source of our ability to be of service to mankind. Let us, therefore, on memorial days, and on all days, dedicate ourselves anew to the holy work of acknowledging the supremacy, omnipresence, and availability of divine Love, and to fuller apprehension and proof of its redemptive power in the healing of sickness and sin. Let us each day “highly resolve” to carry forward our work as Christian Scientists with zeal born of love for God and for our fellow men, with righteous enthusiasm for the advancement of our movement in the only way it can be truly advanced—through spiritual healing. Let us promise ourselves to express greater consecration to the Cause which, Mrs. Eddy has said on page 177 of “Miscellaneous Writings,” is “the greatest and holiest of all causes.”

Our beloved Leader, herself a hero of the highest type—a Christian hero—has written of other heroes (ibid., p. 166): “The monument whose finger points upward, commemorates the earthly life of a martyr; but this is not all of the philanthropist, hero, and Christian. The Truth he has taught and spoken lives, and moves in our midst a divine afflatus.” In the book of Daniel it is written, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” If we are truly wise, we shall be seeking to discern the spiritual intent of our Master’s words and works as they are interpreted to us in Christian Science, and shall be striving to follow his example of loving service in healing sickness and sin in the way that he healed them—through divine power.

Writing of the Eucharist, on page 34 of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mrs. Eddy says, “If a friend be with us, why need we memorials of that friend?” Christian Science not only shows us the ever-presence of the divine Christ, which Jesus so fully demonstrated, but it reminds us constantly of his inspiring example. Christian Science, being the Comforter, or “Spirit of truth,” brings daily and hourly to our remembrance “all things . . . whatsoever” Jesus said and did. The Christ, Truth, revealed in this age by our beloved Leader in Christian Science, has always existed. It is immortal, immutable, demonstrable, divine. Christian Science is indeed the Science of God, the one God, the only God, of whom the Psalmist wrote, “Thy name, O Lord, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O Lord, throughout all generations.”

George Shaw Cook