• Heidi J. Smith

Why Memorials?

Photo credit to Pixabay from Pexels

Walking in the cemetery, I smelled the freshly cut grass and saw the American flags waving in the wind. Several flowers adorned the graves, reminding me of the love and pain families still feel.

The headstones recorded people's names, dates, and a sliver of information about their lives. Entire lives printed in just a few words.

Why do we need memorials?

According to Webster's Dictionary, memorials are "designed to preserve the memory of a person, event, etc., as a monument or a holiday." They help us remember and pass on the information to the next generation.

Our world and the Bible are filled with memorials.

When Joshua and the Israelites conquered the Promised Land, the Lord helped them. He parted the overflowing Jordan River, enabling the people to cross on dry land. The Lord then instructed them to build a twelve stone structure to remember His faithfulness and power.

"And he said to the Israelites, 'In the future, when your children ask their fathers, "What is the meaning of these stones?'...This (the twelve stones) is so that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord's hand is mighty, and so that you may always fear the Lord your God." Joshua 4:21, 24 ESV

How do we recall the Lord's faithfulness? How are we telling our children, grandchildren, and loved ones? Do we need to establish some memorials in our homes?

One family writes yearly blessing on their Thanksgiving tablecloth. Another lists answered prayers and God-moments in a blessing book. Others journal. One lady marks up individual Bibles for each family member.

As we celebrate Memorial Day, may we honor the fallen soldiers who have fought for our country. May we also honor the Lord for His continued faithfulness and take time to teach our kids, grandkids, and loved ones.

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Heidi J. Smith