Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

In Southern California this year, we experienced a fairly rare phenomenon called a super bloom.  Because of the excessive rain during the wintertime, beautiful poppies covered the fields, the hills, and even the desert floor.  It was a magnificent sight.

A little over a hundred years ago, Western Europe experienced its own super bloom.  In the middle of the brutal conditions of World War I, beautiful poppies covered the battlefields and even the hastily dug graves of fallen soldiers.

Seeing this super bloom, a Canadian doctor named Lt Col John McCrae wrote the following after presiding over the funeral of a friend:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Field

In these few short stanzas, the dead provide a simple reminder to the living.  Live up to their legacy.  Catch the torch they have passed on and hold it high.

This Memorial Day weekend, may we honor those who have passed on before us.  May we do so not just on this holiday weekend, but throughout the year.  We must do so in remembrance of our military heroes.  Yet, let us also do so for our Christian heroes.  All the while, may we remember that our best tribute to them is to catch the torch they have passed on to us and hold it high.

PLEASE HONOR THE MEMORY OF OUR BRAVE FOREFATHERS AND PRAY FOR OUR ABILITY TO LIVE UP TO THEIR LEGACY. May we hold high the torch that they have passed on to us … though poppies grow.

Admin Note:  This is the 500th PLUS post.