Today is Memorial Day–a day set aside for remembering all those who have served or are serving in our armed forces. A time to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice of giving their life for the freedom we so enjoy. A time to remember our veterans and tell them “Thank you” for serving their country.
The definition of “Memorial” is something designed to preserve the memory of a person,event, etc., as a monument or a holiday. We hold memorial services for loved ones that have died. We have “Memorial Events” to remember and reflect on things such as 9/11 and Pearl Harbor Day. We preserve the memory. It’s an important part of remembering well.
We as believers have a Biblical mandate to remember well. The concept of memorial, the concept of remembering is throughout scripture. Jacob set a pillar to remember the place where he met God in a dream.(Genesis 28:18) People built “memorials” between them to remember to be peaceful amongst each other. The Israelites were instructed to build an Ark of the Covenant and within was placed the testimony of God, to be remembered by all the people. (Exodus 25:10)
But perhaps the most important way of remembering well is a memorial that we as believers carry out even today in our congregations. That is the memorial to Jesus, through the covenant of the Lord’s Supper:
19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
Jesus commanded the disciples to partake of the bread and the cup, and to do so in remembrance of Him. What a beautiful picture of memorial. When we participate in the Lord’s Supper, it is a solemn reminder, a sober yet celebratory act that reminds us that Jesus’ body was broken for us, and His blood was spilt for us. And through the spilling of His blood, we are forgiven.
So as this Memorial Day draws to a close, let’s remember well. We need to thank God for our armed forces; those currently serving, those who have served, and those who gave their lives serving. We also need to remember Jesus–His ultimate sacrifice on the cross so that we may become sons and daughters, forgiven and given eternal life.