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Memorial Day, honors those who have lost their lives in military service. Ceremonies are reflective and somber.
Memorial Day History:
Memorial Day began shortly after the U.S. Civil War. Some historians say the first observance was in Charleston, S.C., in 1865, when a group of newly-freed slaves reinterred a mass grave of Union soldiers, giving each who lost their life an individual tomb and later decorating those graves in remembrance.
Others say it began in 1864 in Boalsburg, Penn., when a woman whose father had died met up with a woman whose son had died and, with a third woman, adorned the two graves. A year later, their village came together to decorate every fallen soldier’s grave with flags and flowers.
In the US, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. Typically, families gather to celebrate the father figures in their lives. In recent years, retailers have adapted to the holiday by promoting greeting cards and gifts such as electronics and tools. Schools (if in session) and other children’s programs commonly have activities to make Father’s Day gifts.
In Samoa, Father’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in August, and as a recognised national holiday on the Monday following.
What the Bible tells us about…
Famous Fathers in the Bible:
God the Father
God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, is the father and creator of all. Jesus, his only Son, showed us a new, intimate way of relating to him. When we see God as our heavenly Father, provider, and protector, it puts our life in a whole new perspective. Every human father is also a son of this Most High God, the constant source of strength, wisdom, and hope.
As the first man and first human father, Adam had no example to follow except for God’s. However, he strayed from God’s example, and ended up plunging the world into sin. Ultimately, he was left to deal with the tragedy of his son Cain murdering his other son, Abel. Adam has much to teach today’s fathers about the consequences of our actions and the absolute necessity of obeying God.
Noah stands out among fathers in the Bible as a man who clung to God in spite of the wickedness all around him. What could be more relevant today? Noah was far from perfect, but he was humble and protective of his family. He bravely carried out the task God assigned to him. Modern fathers may often feel they are in a thankless role, but God is always pleased by their devotion.
What could be more frightening than being the father of an entire nation? That was the mission God gave Abraham. He was a leader with tremendous faith, passing one of the most difficult tests God ever gave a man. Abraham made mistakes when he relied on himself instead of God. Still, he embodied qualities that any father would be wise to develop.
Many fathers feel intimidated trying to follow in the footsteps of their own father. Isaac must have felt that way. His father Abraham was such an outstanding leader that Isaac could have gone wrong. He could have resented his father for offering him as a sacrifice, yet Isaac was an obedient son. From Abraham he learned the invaluable lesson of trusting God. That made Isaac one of the most favored fathers in the Bible.
Jacob was a schemer who tried to work his own way instead of trusting God. With the help of his mother Rebekah, he stole his twin brother Esau’s birthright. Jacob fathered 12 sons who founded the 12 tribes of Israel. As a father, however, he favored his son Joseph, causing jealousy among the other brothers. The lesson from Jacob’s life is that God works with our obedience and in spite of our disobedience to make his plan come to pass.
Moses was the father of two sons, Gershom and Eliezer, yet he also served as a father figure to the entire Hebrew people as they escaped from slavery in Egypt. He loved them and helped discipline and provide for them on their 40-year journey to the Promised Land. At times Moses seemed to be a larger-than-life character, but he was only a man. He shows today’s fathers that overwhelming tasks can be achieved when we stay close to God.
One of the great strugglers in the Bible, David was also a special favorite of God. He trusted God to help him defeat the giant Goliath and put his faith in God as he was on the run from King Saul. David sinned greatly, but he repented and found forgiveness. His son Solomon went on to become one of Israel’s greatest kings
Surely one of the most underrated fathers in the Bible was Joseph, the foster father of Jesus Christ. He went to great pains to protect his wife Mary and their baby, then saw to Jesus’ education and needs as he was growing up. Joseph taught Jesus the carpentry trade. The Bible calls Joseph a righteous man, and Jesus must have loved his guardian for his quiet strength, honesty, and kindness.
- What do you call your dad when he falls through the ice?
- How is the baby bird like its dad?
It’s a chirp off the old block.
- Why is baseball stadium the coolest place to be?
Because it’s full of fans.