Today is Memorial Day – a day when many people in the United States take flowers to put on the graves of their loved ones. And we especially remember those who have given their lives in service to our country.
But there are things that shouldn’t be buried and hidden away. They are our personal memorials.
All of us have memorials in our lives. They may be days of celebration such as birthdays and anniversaries. They may be old photo albums and yearbooks. They may be souvenirs from trips that we’ve taken or awards that we’ve won. They may be jewelry that was given to us by a spouse or a friend. Whatever they are, it’s good to talk about them. If we don’t pass on the stories about these memorials, our children and grandchildren will never know about interesting things that have happened to us and things we have learned through the experiences of our lives.
After my mom passed away, I became aware of questions that I should have asked her. She had memorials. Some of them were her memories, and some were items that had her own story attached to them. If I had taken the time to ask and listen, I would have more memories of her memorials which would be meaningful to me.
The most important memorials for us to talk about are our spiritual ones. They may be inside of us, in our memories, and not anything physical. However we might have a prayer journal, an old Bible, or notes from a Bible class that are among our spiritual memorials.
There are things that God has done in our lives which need to be passed on. If we keep them to ourselves, they will not inspire faith in others. Your spiritual memorials are your own experiences in which God spoke to you, brought you to know Him, healed someone in your family, met a financial need, worked a miracle, put together important circumstances, led you to meet someone, helped you to bring someone else to know Jesus, etc. By sharing these memorials with others you will inspire others to reach out to God for the same kind of experiences in their lives.
A Memorial in the Bible
In Joshua 3 and 4 we read how the Lord opened up the Jordan River so that the Israelites could cross over into the Promised Land. The priests stood in the middle holding the Ark of the Covenant while the people walked across on the dry pathway that God had made for them as the waters parted. God told them to build a memorial. After everyone had crossed over, Joshua followed God’s instructions and had twelve men, one from each tribe of Israel, go into the middle where the priests had stood. Each man picked up a large rock, and they carried the twelve rocks on their shoulders to the Promised Land. Once they did this, the priests with the Ark crossed the rest of the way over. Then the waters of the river closed up and flowed normally.
They took the twelve rocks and put them in the place where they first camped once they got to the Promised Land. These rocks were a memorial. The Israelites were told to talk about them to their children in the coming generations so that no one would forget the miracle that God had done that day when He parted the water for them to cross the Jordan. Without people talking about them, the memorial would look like any old pile of rocks and would lose its meaning.
How to Share Our Memorials
That’s how it is with our spiritual memorials. We need to share them. . Write about them and talk about them with your family and friends. You could even make a recording or a video in which you talk about the spiritual memorials in your life. That would be a precious heritage that could be enjoyed by your children and grandchildren in the years to come.
A memorial that we share in our family are recordings of three generations of family members singing around the piano while my mother played hymns and Christmas music. Those recordings contain part of our spiritual heritage.
Today would be a good day to plan at least one way that you will share at least one of your spiritual memorials!