SERMON TITLE: “Blessed Memories of the Righteous”
SERMON TEXT: Proverbs 10:1-12
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: May 29, 2022, at First UMC
On Friday, I drove over by Evergreen Memorial Park on Monroe Blvd. I went out of my way just a little bit so I could see the flags and flowers that were accumulating there. If I had been farther south, I would have driven by the Ogden Cemetery on 20th Street or the Aultorest Memorial Park at Leavitt’s on 36th Street. Even though I don’t have any family members buried here in Ogden, on Memorial Day weekends I always feel drawn to cemeteries. The older I get, the more powerful this instinct seems to be. As I think of my aunts and cousins making their annual pilgrimage to our hometown cemetery in Montana, I feel a longing to participate in that great remembrance of people now deceased. Like others adorning plots with flowers and flags, I want to remember and honor those whose names appear on the grave stones. I know Memorial Day was originally intended to be a day for decorating the graves of soldiers who had died in war. But, in my experience, Memorial Day has become a great time for remembering all our loved ones who have passed on before us, whether they died in war or not.
No matter how our predecessors lived and why they died, all their lives have interesting stories and lessons to teach us. Sometimes those lessons are positive examples, and sometimes they’re warnings of what we should avoid doing. If we’re willing to pay attention and remember those lessons, then maybe we can put them into practice. By remembering our dead, maybe we can improve our own lives, and someone will have reason to love and honor us when we’ve passed away.
This opportunity of learning from our predecessors is exactly what we find in Proverbs 10:1-12. There, in verse seven, we see that “the memory of the righteous is a blessing.” Assuming that all of us would like to be remembered positively, let’s dig into this text and see how we can shape our lives to become a righteous memory that will bless others after we’re gone.