I am Canadian and as a rule do not observe Memorial Day. We have Remembrance Day in Canada on November 11. However, I happened to be home just before lunch today and flicked on the TV to catch a few minutes of the Jays game (playing in Baltimore). I caught a few minutes of the ceremony before the game as they observed Memorial Day and sang the American national anthem. So Memorial Day and baseball have me thinking.
There were men and women from the military dressed in the finest uniforms. The anthem was played in the traditional way. The people in the stands stood respectfully and the men were asked to remove their hats. The ball players stood also and removed their hats. There was certainly a deep sense of reverence. It got me thinking - what if they messed around with that? What if they came out in "civies?" What if they set the American national anthem to a more "contemporary" tune? What if all the players sat on the ground in a more relaxed and comfortable manner? What if the fans in the stands sat around and ate their hot dogs and nacho cheese chips as this was going on?
It would be a disgrace. People would be outraged. Parents who saw their children acting like that would be ashamed. The musicians and singers who messed around with the national anthem would be scorned (remember Rosanne Barr?). People would be astonished at the complete lack of respect and decorum shown by the people at such an important time.
Why is it we expect less in God's house? Why is it that many would like to lose the reverence to bring in a more "comfortable" atmosphere? Why is it pastors think it is a good idea to ditch the vestments and wear pants and shirt? Why is it that some think they can plug in any old song with any tune and it will be fitting? Try that at the ball park on Memorial day...
When we go to Divine Service we enter God's house. He is there for us in His Word and Sacrament. The people at a ball park on Memorial Day have a sense of reverence. It is expected. It is agreed upon. Why should it be any less when we gather as God's people for Divine Service where our Lord is for us?
How we act and how we dress tells a lot about what we think about what we are doing. Memorial Day and baseball have me thinking...
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