Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Holiday for true heroes

by Bob Shillingstad
| May 23, 2020 1:00 AM

We are having three days of observance close together. A few weeks ago it was Mother’s Day, this Monday will be Memorial Day and next Sunday will be Pentecost Sunday.

With life at a standstill these past few months, our activities and normal routines are disrupted. Maybe some of that is positive as we stop to celebrate the meaning of these days and yet there are certainly the negative aspects.

There were no Mother’s Day brunches to take mom to or dinners on the town. For almost everyone there were no baby bottles set out at church for the “baby bottle boomerang” sponsored by Open Arms Pregnancy Center and Clinic because churches were not yet assembling together.

However, the Open Arms fundraising campaign is now in full operation. Until Father’s Day, three options are available: 1)Traditional Bottles 2) Online Bottles, and 3) Bottle-Less Giving. Go to the new landing page, to donate and for information, or email

On Monday we celebrate Memorial Day. To some it’s merely the beginning of summer and to others it’s a solemn day to remember those who have passed from this life. However, to the war veteran and to the families of fallen soldiers, Memorial Day carries significance so deep that words cannot express their hearts.

Those who have been personally affected by war understand and appreciate this day of remembrance.

What should we say to those who sincerely honor this day? “Happy Memorial Day” doesn’t seem fitting. “I’m sorry for your loss” may be closer to appropriate. What would the fallen soldier want from their comrades and the rest of the country on this day? The American soldier who gave his or her life for U.S. citizens to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness won’t be telling us how to observe this holiday. But I think that focusing on our freedoms and choices would honor the fallen soldier. Their sacrifice follows the example of Jesus Christ laying down his life for our freedom. It’s selfless love for others — not so others can mourn forever, but live!

“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” — Romans 5:8.

We are blessed to be living in a free society and that brings us to Pentecost Sunday. We have seen many churches in our area already open. Sunday May 31 would be the perfect time for all churches to be open and celebrate the birth of the church as described in Acts Chapter 2.

Over 3,000 churches in California are opening on Pentecost Sunday! They have decided that the mandate from scripture to meet and pray for one another was too important to ignore.

One of the most repeated phrases in the Bible is one that says, “do not fear.” Pastors and priests, when they invite parishioners into the building, are giving a message that all is under control. Do not fear, God is sovereign and our life is in His hands.

Ministers of the gospel should lead the community in the reality that we put our trust in God and there is no fear of things in the world. Should we use common sense? Of course. Should we live a life of fear? Absolutely not.

I cannot think of a more biblically sanctioned day of the entire year to restart the church than Pentecost Sunday. Enjoy Memorial Day and Pentecost Sunday. I believe they are connected.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

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Bob’s religion columns appear Saturdays in The Press. Email Bob: