My father went to see the USS Arizona Memorial before he died. He served in WWII and was a POW. The memorial was very powerful and emotionally charged for him. It brought back so many memories. It stirred his spirit and brought to mind all the brave men he served with, starved with, and saw die.
Memorials are very powerful for us. I guess that’s why God initiated so many of them in the scriptures to His children.
I’ve been reading in Exodus 13 where God is telling Moses about consecrating the first born to Him. They are to be sanctified, redeemed. To be sanctified means to be set apart, to be consecrated. Consecrated means “to associate with the sacred”. And redeemed means to be ransomed or rescued. God told the Israelites that they were to buy back every first born, whether of animal or man. They did this by sacrificing another animal as a ransom payment. All of this showed that the first born was set apart (sanctified) for God.
As I was reading I was struck by the fact that twice God mentions what the people were to say to their children. He was giving lessons in how to let a memorial be the spur for remembering and letting those memories push us to greater love and honor of God. But it isn’t just about OUR remembering. It is about our passing on those memories. We are called to testify of the goodness of God.
What greater avenue for testifying of His wonder and power than by telling our children our memorials!
We often have our own family memorials.
- Some families use photographs or videos to record snippets of our lives and watch them at family gatherings.
- Some families use holidays with their built-in memory makers: homemade ornaments, decorations, table settings that bring reminders of family gatherings.
- Some families use family reunions to tell stories of long ago and far away.
- Some families bronze baby shoes or save baby teeth or locks of hair.
But we often overlook those spiritual memorials. In our love for family, we can neglect the God who established them and whose love binds families together. This is WHY we need to look to memorials in our lives of the mighty work of God.
You shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ Ex. 13:8
And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ then you shall say to him, ‘With a powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. Ex 13:14
So, I guess the question is: what memorials are YOU making of God’s goodness and mighty works, and how are you sharing them with your children?
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