Keeping memories is far more difficult than making memories. Memories are made in an instant, but must be held on to for the rest of our lives.
Occasionally someone will compliment me on my memory. Here’s how I remember things: google calendar stores my appointments, events, and family birthdays. Our church directory helps with your birthdays and anniversaries. Evernote keeps up with my task lists, project plans, sermon ideas, and honey do’s. My email inbox is overflowing with reminders to get back in touch with people. Voicemail reminds me of who called me. A weekly planner keeps up with my errands and chores and where I have to be. Our photo albums keep track of where we’ve been and what we’ve seen. A sticker on my windshield reminds me when to get my oil changed. My white board keeps up with brainstorming sessions and what I need to do today. My Post-it notes remind me of what I need at the grocery store. The ink on the back of my hand tries to remind me of that really important thing I forgot the last three days…and finally, Leslie reminds me of everything else.
We’re definitely better at forgetting than remembering. Our memories need lots of help to keep from dropping things—even really important things. If I’m going to get things done, I have to be intentional about reminders.
We celebrate Memorial Day because it is important that we never forget the men and women who have sacrificed to make the world a better place. It reminds us that people of courage can and do make a difference in the world. It reminds us of the exceedingly high cost of war and helps us to long for peace.
God knows that we’re a forgetful people, so he helps us remember. He gave the Jews tassels and phylacteries to remind them of the power of his law (Numbers 15:39). He gave Israel the feast of unleavened bread to remind them of his deliverance during Passover (Deuteronomy 16:3). He gave us parents who can tell us the story of what God has done in their lives, and remind us of the power he has in ours (Deuteronomy 32:7).
Today we gather for the reminder that Jesus gave us. “He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’” (Luke 22:19)