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Archive for the ‘Memorials’ Category

“Do this in remembrance of me…..”  I Cor 11:24-26

The devotions this week have served to remind us to remember—remember times of tradition, heritage and culture, as well as memorials that commemorate historical events or remind us of God’s principles for living an abundant life.

Of all those activities and events we can participate in to remember, there is probably none more sacred than Communion.  Jesus commanded His disciples to partake of the bread and cup in remembrance of the ultimate gift—the promise of the New Covenant we are able to claim because of His sacrifice on the Cross.  Communion is a memorial we participate in to remind us as a Body of Believers of the atoning grace of our Lord and the forgiveness we have because of His death and resurrection.  Celebrate Communion—In Remembrance of Him…

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“Repeat them again and again to your children.

Talk about them when you are at home

and when you are away on a journey,

when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.

 Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead.

 Write them on the doorposts of your home and on your gates.” 

                                                                          Deut 6:6-9

All families have stories about their heritage.  The stories may be silly, humorous, or the sharing of landmark events that relate life passages, such as a wedding or graduation.  Those stories often provide valuable connections.  For me, often, those stories remind me where I came from and why family is important.  I have been known to say that my siblings and I may disagree on many topics, but I always know in times of crises that “we have each other’s backs.”  Memories remind me of that truth.  It is important to share family traditions, stories of our culture and heritage.

God too reminds us to share stories.  He has given us principles, such as the Ten Commandments, and stories of His promises, His deliverance, and His abundant love.  Not only are we challenged to remember, but we are to pass them on “so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.”  (Deut 11:20)

As we share God’s principles and the stories from the Bible that we give encouragement, hope, and the sustaining reminders that others are strengthened.   Remembering also sustains us as we share.  Remembering and sharing can also act constructively to correct and provide guidance.  We have all heard, “learn from my mistakes”—share those principles and truths that come from life experiences.

Sharing memories from childhood may brighten a day for a family member.  Sharing a truth from God’s word may provide encouragement or direction.  Remember and Rejoice.

Thank you, Lord, that You gave us memories.  You gave us reminders of Your principles that allow us to lead successful lives.  You gave us promises to sustain us.  Thank you, too, for our families, our heritage and our culture that You use to draw us to Jesus Christ.  Amen. 

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“I assure you, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be talked about in her memory.”  Matthew 26:6-13

This week’s series of devotions is looking at those memorials that act to remind us of principles worth fighting for such as freedom and draw us to God’s goodness, grace and mercy.  However, memorials are not just objects or commemoration events.  Sometimes memorials can be a memory.

Jesus explained that the woman who poured perfume on his head would be remembered throughout time for her deed.  Why was her deed something worth remembering?  Her act was a “good thing” for Jesus.  (Matt 26: 10).  It reminds us that our acts of submission, service, worship and honor may be recalled by others and draw them to the Cross of Jesus Christ.  She left a memory legacy that should challenge and hearten all of us.  Will my actions cause others to pause and reflect and remember Christ today?  Will my actions leave a memory that is so powerful others will see Jesus more clearly?

 

Broken and Spilled Out

                                                                        By Steve Green
VERSE 1
One day a plain village woman
Driven by love for her Lord
Recklessly poured out a valuable essence
Disregarding the scorn
And once it was broken and spilled out
A fragrance filled all the room
Like a pris’ner released from his shackles
Like a spirit set free from the tomb

CHORUS 1
Broken and spilled out
Just for love of you Jesus
My most precious treasure
Lavished on Thee
Broken and spilled out
And poured at Your feet
In sweet abandon
Let me be spilled out
And used up for Thee

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This week we are looking at the role of memorials to strengthen and encourage us as we travel this faith journey with our Lord Jesus Christ.  The Book of Esther reminds us that memorials are not just objects but also occasions to commemorate events; a time to reflect and remember God’s hand at work in our lives.

Purim (Esther 9) is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from destruction at the hands of Haman.  While Christians may not hold a festival holiday as a celebration of Purim, the story itself and watching friends and neighbors observe Purim remind us all that our Deliverer is always present and at work for His glory and our good (Rom 8:28).  Deliverance may not be on our time schedule, nor may it be in the manner we might choose, but deliverance always comes for God’s people.  II Kings 17:39, “Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.

Certainly, there have been many times in history, especially during times of war, famine and during such heart wrenching events as illness, natural disasters and death, that people thought God was absent, but this we can have confidence that “He did deliver us from mortal danger.  And we are confident that He will continue to deliver us.”  (II Corinthians 1:10)

Today remember and celebrate.   We have a great God who can be counted on to be our ever-present help in times of trouble (Ps 37:39).

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the memorials in life that commemorate Your mercy and grace—that remind us of Your presence.  Thank you that we can celebrate that You are our Deliverer even in those times when we don’t seem to feel You.  Help me to commemorate and create memorials so that even in the times of silence, I will remember and trust in Your Love.  Amen 

 

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Sunday’s devotion introduced this week-long series on memorials with a reminder of Memorial Day and its purpose.

Throughout this whole month of May we have been looking at different cultures and how our traditions and culture shape our faith and draw us closer to the heart of God.  So it is with memorials and those events in our lives that cause us to create memorials.  For me, personally, one of those memorials grows out of the traditions for Memorial Day.  But for other cultures or traditions, perhaps it is some particular event.

A memorial is an item or object that serves as a focus for a memory—to remind those who view it of an event.  Cemetery headstones act as a memorial for the person buried near.  Crosses, such as those at Arlington Cemetery or Mt. Soledad in San Diego serve to remind us of those fallen soldiers who fought for our freedom.  Similarly, historical markers such as on a centennial farm remind us that a singular family has owned and preserved a certain parcel of land for a hundred years.

Jacob in the Old Testament built two such memorials in his life that were to serve for all time as reminders for the Israelites.  Genesis 32:22-32 provides the story behind why the people of Israel don’t eat meat from the hip, which is practiced to this day done in memory of the night Jacob wrestled with God.  Genesis 35:14 tells us that Jacob set up a stone pillar, a memorial, to mark the place where God had spoken to him.

In 2007, I experienced a similar experience to Jacob when God showed me the power of joy and my home contains many reminders of the word “joy” as a constant memorial to a life-changing time when God drew me intimately into His embrace and overwhelmed me with His love.  Perhaps there has been such an experience in your life that you might be willing to share with others here by leaving a comment.

If not, perhaps this is an opportunity for you to reflect on whether your traditions, culture or faith walk have created some memorials you are not even aware of, but that have profoundly left you confident of God’s love and grace.

Oh, Lord, thank you that you give us those reminders of Your love and mercy.  When I am walking through the valleys, those memorials help me reflect on Your love and remind me I am never alone—that You have not forsaken me.  Bring to mind other reminders Lord and help me add memorials to my life that will constantly draw others to Yourself.  Amen.

 

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