Thursday, May 26, 2011


With Memorial Day fast approaching (and all the festivities of cookouts and such fast approaching as well), I wanted to take a moment to think about remembrance.

Memorial Day is also known as a Day of Remembrance. In fact, my dad is a genealogical nut. He has our family history traced back to at least the 1860's if not earlier. Not that I don't have an appreciation for genealogy, but I certain don't get "geeked out" for it like my sister and he do. And to maintain and further investigate his ancestral habit, he plans yearly visits to decorate graves of past relatives (like many others do) on Memorial Day weekend.

In contemplating remembrance, I was also keenly aware of another form of remembrance - that which is almost a reflex rather than a conscious choice. I was privileged to participate in a monthly worship service at our local nursing home this afternoon. The service primarily consists of singing songs that they knew from childhood and such. It was amazing for me to witness how some of these elderly individuals would light up when the singing began. These dear souls may not have the physical (and often times mental) capacity to functional well and can appear in a daze or stupor. But when those songs that they recognized began playing, they were singing with all of their beings. I know for a fact that some of the participants can barely remember the names of their children, yet they can remember the lyrics and melodies that stirred their hearts and lives 50+ years ago.

And you know, Jesus knew a thing or two about remembrance as well. As He was instituting what we call communion that last week before He was crucified, He told His disciples, "Do this in remembrance of me."

So, why do we remember? Why are we commanded to remember?

Put simply - because over time, we will all forget (or be forgotten.)  But I have discovered 3 applications for my own life in regards to remembrance.

1) Remembering helps me focus on what's most important. As I reflect every year on the births of my children and family, my anniversary, and even the death of my mom 3 years ago, I always remember the person and relationship that I have/had with them. And aren't relationships what life is really all about? We may lose all of our possessions, but if we still have our family and friends, then we are truly rich people.
2) Remembering also connects me with a heritage and reminds me that I am not alone. It helps me to see how the lives of those before me have helped shape my current life. And consequently, remembering my own legacy encourages and motivates me as I dream about the influence my life will have for future generations.
3) Remembering causes me to reflect on the unmistakeable truth that I have committed my life to Jesus, and I know for sure that my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. I may be forgotten by others in 20, 50, 100 or 300 years, but Jesus knows me and will always remember me. I will NEVER be forgotten by Christ!

So this Memorial Day weekend, take a moment or two aside from all the hoopla, and remember. Remember where you came from. Remember who will come after you. And remember that Jesus knows your name; He loves you; and He will never forget you.

Do this in remembrance of HIM!

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