What memorials will you observe on this holiday?

Alice White

This weekend will be Memorial Day here in our country. How should we take part in this holiday? Why is this a special day for so many?

Not sure I can really answer those questions for anyone. I only know my reason to observe Memorial Day and what is contained in the remembrance.

I have lived long enough to be able to look back at the memorials that have been placed in my life. Remembering the time and place when my grandparents passed away. As aunts, uncle, cousins, bothers and sisters, as well as my own parents passed away, more places of memorial filled my memories. How and where I met my husband, the day our first child was born. Taking our first church assignment far from family and friends and feeling alone.

The Old and New testaments record many kinds of memorials that were to be observed. Noah, when they all came out of the ark, built an altar to the Lord as a memorial of what God had brought them through. Jacob gathered stones as a reminder of the words God had spoken to him. Abraham left several placed marked with stones as God directed him. Memorials can be elaborate or a simple reminder of a person or event.

So many times we have heard that one should not look back. But looking back to those events and loved ones gives a sense of belonging. Bring to our remembrances the good times and how close they were and are to our own lives. Remembering gives us hope. Hope to weather the good and bad of life.

Many times in the past, I was encouraged to examine the person and work of Jesus Christ. As the Son of God, he left his home to rescues each and every person in this world. Knowing the plan his father had laid out would lead to his death, burial and finally resurrection, he accepted the mission. Scriptures states that “all have sinned and come short of the Glory of GOD” and that the “wages of sin is death.” Each time we partake of communion in a church service or give it to shut-ins, it becomes a memorial. Looking back to what Christ did for us all, we have hope and a renewed love for his sacrifice for all.

Memorial Day is a day of honor and remembrance of all who have fallen in service to our country. Look back at your personal event or place where you have placed a memorial marker. If that marker was not physically placed but is still in your heart, rejoice. The main event of memorials for me is a small church in California, where, at the age of 9, I came to understand just what Christ gave for me to be born again. Born again is an old term that has three memorials — the cross, tomb and ascension of Christ — which, taken together, is the heart of God’s salvation.

As we enjoy this coming holiday, I would ask what memorials do you embrace? Is there a time and place of remembrance to honor the Lord in your life?

White is chaplain of the Asotin County Jail and pastor at Lewiston Foursquare Church.

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