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Memorials

Memorial#3 MEMORIALS…range in size, shape and purpose. The operative meaning is ‘remembrance’. They are permanent reminders to preserve the memory of a person or event, like a monument or a holiday.

We have memorial services where we gather to remember the life of a recently departed friend or family member. In America, Congress has set aside Memorial Day to remember and honor those who have given their lives while defending our country, mainly in times of war. Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, Bunker Hill, Battle of Franklin, Normandy, Gettysburg and Arlington Cemetery are but a few.

Former American Presidents each have a memorial library or monument honoring their service and memory. The Eternal Flame is at the gravesite of John F. Kennedy in Arlington Cemetery.

  Memorial#1 Memorial#4

 

 

Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower

While recently visiting family in New York we went to the  9/11 Memorial. In the place where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood are two below ground level water falls and pools bordered by low walls on which the name of each person who died that day is etched in granite. The Memorial museum is soon to open. The slogan was soon adopted after the attack by many in our nation–‘Never Forget!’ Isn’t that why memorials are created; so we will never forget?

The Old Testament is full of memorials. One comes to mind. Moses had passed the mantel to Joshua to take the people into the Promised Land. They are able to miraculously cross the Jordan when it was at flood stage. Then God told the people to set up a memorial. One man from each of the twelve tribes brought a large stone from the midst of the river bottom and they piled them up on the bank. Why? “That this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘what do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever” (Josh. 4:6-7).

Memorials are reminders because we humans tend to forget, especially after vast periods of time elapse and new generations arrive. General Dwight D. Eisenhower said to those who witnessed the Holocaust to take photos because there would come a future time when people would deny this atrocity ever happened. Was he ever a prophet! Even God set the rainbow in the sky to remind Him of the sign of the covenant between Him and the earth; that He would never flood the earth again and destroy all flesh. (Gen. 9:8-16) If God needs a reminder, then how much more do we?

I suggest that the cross and the empty tomb are eternal memorials. EmptyTombReminders of God’s  love and mercy! When my wife and I traveled to Israel last year and visited the area believed to be Golgotha and the place of the vacant tomb, there was no way for us not to be reminded of these two eternal acts of grace.

 

The Apostles spent their remaining years, most tragically dying, reminding and challenging people everywhere of the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Paul challenged his young disciple, Timothy, as well as us, with these words. “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Tim. 2:8-10).

What are the memorials in your personal life? How about the time and place when you trusted Christ for salvation? And then when you made Him Lord and Master. Maybe it is some miracle(s) that God used to show His omnipotence. Possibly some recorded journal entries of answered prayer(s). Could be the time and place where He placed a call on your life for a mission or ministry. All these can be ‘memorial stones’. But they are not just for you. They are to be shared with others; reminders to your children and spouse, extended family, the lost or someone simply needing encouragement.

I conclude with the greatest news of all! As recorded in Isaiah 43:25, God is speaking to Israel, His people, you and me; “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.”  Lest you think God has a memory problem, think again. He remembers well His Son hanging alone on that cross 

of obedience for your and my sin. Maybe we should continue to remind ourselves daily of the price that was paid so the Father could have an eternal memory lapse toward us. Praise, glory and honor to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! “Never Forget!”

Copyright 2013

Bill C. Dotson

www.lifespeakstous.com 

bill@abidingfathers.org 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version

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