Forgetting can be a horrible thing … especially if it’s something I need to remember.
While teaching at a local Christian school, I annually chaperoned the eighth-grade trip to Washington, DC. Memorials were high on the list of things to visit since they were constructed to help future generations remember a person or event.
The Korean War Memorial fascinated me. The artist focused on the number thirty-eight. Thirty eight was the number of the parallel dividing North and South Korea and also the number of months the war dragged on. But trying to place thirty-eight life-size soldiers on a plot of land that would only accommodate nineteen was a problem.
The solution was a reflective wall. When looking at the wall, thirty-eight soldiers are seen trudging through terrain representative of Korea instead of the actual nineteen present. Problem solved. Statement made.
Memorial Day is the day when Americans remember military personnel who have died while serving their country. The holiday originated as Decoration Day and was established by a group of Union veterans. Eventually, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions were merged into one and celebrated together.
God also likes memorials and warns His people repeatedly not to forget Him or the things He has done for them. In Israel’s history, delivering them from four hundred years of Egyptian slavery needed remembering. For Christians, the big unforgettable deliverance came through Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
For years I’ve worn Christian paraphernalia—mainly crosses. Since I got in on the tail end of the hippie movement, wearing jewelry came naturally. From necklaces with crosses to watches, bracelets, key rings, and shirts with the same, I’ve worn it all.
Although jewelry and other clothing articles with Christian symbols can make good witnessing and conversation starters—as well as good memorials—my lifestyle is a better memorial to the difference Christ has made in me. Symbols mean little without actions, attitudes, and words to back them up. Just as America’s war memorials would mean nothing if we cast aside our love for freedom and our appreciation for those who bought it.
Americans remember their military dead with a holiday. Let your life be a Christian memorial that shows others what Christ has done for you.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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