Decoration Day

Also called "Memorial Day," but not the federal holiday. And it has nothing to do with celebrating Confederate heritage, as some maintain. Maybe it did once, I don't know. Doesn't now.


The individual churches choose a Sunday, usually in the Spring, to memorialize those in the congregation who have "passed" in the past year (aka kicked the bucket, bought the farm, up and died). And to decorate the graves in the church cemetery with fake flowers. Ours is the third Sunday in May.


Often they host a speaker who has a family connection to the church, but is not a member of the congregation. Not always, though. My first year here, about 9 years ago, they asked me to speak. They have not requested a repeat performance. I wouldn't read too much into that. After all, they asked me to be choir director. And I suck at that job.


Back in that day I wrote a song that dealt with this day. It was called "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John," and it goes like this:


Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

Sometimes I don't know what page we're on

My mind wanders as God's holy word

Rolls like thunder or sings like a bird


The preacher's voice fills the room

Like a tapestry rolling off of a loom

I stare at the portrait of Jesus in prayer

As stained glass colors fill the air


I stand and sit as the hymns come and go

My voice as soft as down falling snow

And when we bow our heads in prayer

I close my eyes and imagine you there


Everyone said that you had gone home

But my heart went with you, down in the loam

Days into weeks, months into years

I drifted away on infinite tears


Wonder of wonders when once I did pray

Down on my knees one Memorial Day

I stood and walked back to the pew

And the place that ever reminds me of you


Your grace was His, and His never ends

To these clouded eyes, an immaculate lens

And though chapter and verse may fly off like a dove

The Word I can see and again know your love


So it's Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

Sometimes I don't know what page we're on

But these four friends, so wise and so true

Make me believe I'll come back to you


Yes it's Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

Sometimes I don't know what page we're on

But these four friends, so wise and so true

Make me believe I'll come back to you


Yes they make me believe I'll come back to you

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Loneliness ended and life began when she reached out and brushed my cheek gently with her finger. It set my world spinning. The others left, I stayed. I remember her touch as if it were yesterday.

Dat sneaky ol' devil, he a lyin' sonofagun Tear pages out da book, red words of the son Make a mask dat blushes all holy and meek So da good folk listen when he speak Yes they do The good folk listen