Monday, May 27, 2024

Meaningful Memorials

In celebration of Memorial Day, American flags line streets in towns large and small. Flags wave proudly on the grounds of public buildings. Flags flap on residential lawns in response to gentle breezes. Small flags border a huge, raised bed near the front entrance to a nursing home near my house. 

Special ceremonies have been scheduled throughout the USA. Some desserts served at picnics or other gatherings will feature the red, white, and blue colors found on the American flag. Some towns host Memorial Day parades to commemorate soldiers who lost their lives while serving in the armed forces. Graves of the fallen have been decorated with flags or wreaths.

Because we live such hectic lives, we need special days, foods, and activities to remind us to remember someone or something too important to forget. That’s been true throughout the centuries. Even in Old Testament times, people were instructed to observe certain days and/or to construct a memorial of some sort to help them recall a person or an event that impacted their lives.

For example, the seventh chapter of the book of 1 Samuel mentions a memorial the prophet Samuel made from a large stone and placed between two towns. Its purpose? To remind all who saw it of how faithfully God had helped them and, by implication, would continue to do so.

Do you take time out of your busy life to observe Memorial Day and other special days, like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day? Do you have objects that trigger memories of important people and events? Do you pause to give thanks for them?

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, 

and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.” 

1 Samuel 7:12-13, NKJV

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