Memorial Day Musings (by Pastor Roy)

May 25th 2012 No comments yet  

On Memorial Day, the bugle call Taps will be sounded at sacred resting places across this nation.  This mournful tune reminds us that our freedom was purchased not by those who of a “super race” or who were pawns of a totalitarian scheme. It was purchased with the blood of those who loved with the greatest human love possible: “”¦He lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

But for those who have trusted in Jesus Christ, Taps takes on an additional meaning, a spiritual one beyond even the national significance.  Let me explain. 

Taps was composed and adopted to signal troops in their tents or quarters to extinguish lights and to “take your rest.”Â  “Take your rest” because your duty for the day had come to an end.  The concept resting after completing one’s duty prompted the use of Taps at military funerals and memorials.  When you complete your duty to your country, you may rest in the arms of your Heavenly Father, the Lord of Hosts, or (literally) the Lord of the Armies.

Military members recognize two additional facts about the playing of Taps, and these explain its significance.  When Taps is played in the field or in bivouac, not all soldiers “take their rest.”Â  There are those within the unit that must remain on watch after others have gone to sleep.  Taps for them is a signal to remain vigilant so that those who sleep can do so peacefully, secure in the knowledge that others have taken responsibility for the watch.  

So as you hear Taps being played consider: those we honor have completed their temporal duty and the divine bugle has called them to take their rest. Those left behind”“those who are hearing the bugle call”“are still on duty. The bugle calls us is to vigilance, to live out their legacy, to live a life of honor and dignity, to be people of integrity and nobility, and to dutifully serve our Savior. And to do so with hope”“the hope that every soldier recognizes, and is equally true for the soldier standing watch and the soldier sleeping: 

WHEN TAPS IS PLAYED, REVEILLE IS COMING!  In the order of bugle calls, Taps is the last call of the day.  But a new day will dawn, and Reveille marks that dawn.  For the believer in Jesus Christ, the Scripture tells us of that coming dawn:

Listen, I will tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed”“ in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound [Reveille], and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we [who are still on watch] will be changed”¦ So then, dear brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.“

WHEN TAPS IS PLAYED, REVEILLE IS COMING!  In another passage, Paul also reminds us that “the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord always.  Therefore comfort one another with these words.“

As we remember those who gave their all today, we do “not grieve like the rest who have no hope,” for WHEN TAPS IS PLAYED, REVEILLE IS COMING!


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