Summary: This message explores the meaning and practice of memorials and remembering. It served a a memorial day message.
Chico Alliance Church
“In Remembrance of Me”
Memorial Day is a legal holiday, observed annually on the last Monday in May in most of the U.S., in honor of the nation's armed services personnel killed in wartime. The holiday, originally called Decoration Day, is traditionally marked by parades, memorial speeches and ceremonies, and the decoration of graves with flowers and flags, hence the original name. Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868, on the order of Gen. John Alexander Logan for the purpose of decorating the graves of the American Civil War dead. It was observed on May 30 until 1971, when most states changed to a newly established federal schedule of holiday observance.
History is full of memorials. One might say we have an obsession with memorials. From ancient time, memorials have been erected in the form of pyramids, cliffs, statues, slabs of stone, buildings, gardens, and any number of other materials intended to remember a person or event. The United States has the Washington monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial and so many other monuments, to numerous to recite here, erected to remember significant people or events. In our culture of we attend memorial services to remember those who have died. We purchase items in memory of others. Funds given in memory of members of Chico Alliance church have greatly benefited this body. We even have a book of remembrance. The new projector is the results of the generous memorials given to the Bob Dormaier memorial and the Bill Dummer memorial.
Perhaps our love affair with memorials stems from our longing to count for something in this world. Solomon lamented the fact that we live on this earth, die, and no one even remembers what we did or perhaps that we even existed. He concludes that such a fact is empty, meaningless.
Tomorrow is a day to remember particularly those who gave their life in service to our country. I have an uncle who gave his life and World War II to protect our freedom. Tomorrow is a day set aside to remember such sacrifice by individuals on behalf of our nation. But memorials are not just man's idea or invention or obsession. The Bible is full of references to memorials and remembrance some even instituted by God Himself.
The Concept of Remembrance
The Hebrew word for Memorial is a sacrificial term describing the act which brings the offerer into remembrance before God, or which brings God into honorable remembrance with the offerer. The verb form means to trick, pierce, penetrate; pressing on the memory, to keep in mind, remember, to offer a Memorial sacrifice. Memorials are intended to remember a person or significant event.
• Memorial days were instituted so that we would not forget the person and work of God.
• Memorial days were instituted so that we would not forget each others person and work.
• Memorials were instituted so that we would realize God does not forget us or our work.
For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. Hebrews 6:10
Objects used to remember vary
Stones were used to Memorialize things.
Books of remembrance were established. (Lamb’s book of life)
Scrolls or tablets were used to stir the memory.
Certain offerings were intended to stir the memory.
Gold and financial offerings were offered as Memorials.
WE REMEMBER EACH OTHER
• In the book of Esther Mordecai was remembered for his deeds.
• One of the Jewish feast centers around Esther’s courage that resulted in salvation of the Jews.
• Nehemiah asked that his deeds the remembered before God and others.
• The new Testament contains written memorials to Saints who faithfully served God at times to the detriment and loss of their own life.
These were written in the Scripture for all of us to read centuries later.
God memorialized the faithful deeds of people so that we might remember and imitate their walk of faith.
• In Matthew 26:6-13, God memorialized the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet.
This woman was an example of extravagant worship. Against the protests of the disciples Jesus called attention to the heart of this woman whose reputation was not all that good.
“Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done shall also be spoken of in memory of her.”
GOD REMEMBERS US
Now I realize that God doesn't forget. He is all knowing. There is nothing that God doesn't know. It seems that God has established memorials so that we would realize that he does not forget us. Memorials have been established by God so that we would realize how important we are to God and how much he really loves us.