A day to remember
“Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.” These words come from the book of Deuteronomy 32:7. They were spoken by Moses, the leader of the Israelite nation, just before they were to cross over into the Promised Land and know the fulfillment of the promise God had given.
In America, this weekend is about remembering days of old and considering generations long past. In addition to paying homage to military personnel who have given their lives in the service of our nation, many families take this time to remember ancestors who are gone to eternity. When I was a child, Memorial Day was a day off from school that included a program at the cemetery, a big picnic with friends and family, and storytelling about the people whose graves we had decorated at the cemetery. Some of those stories were humorous, others were poignant, some changed over time as aging memories struggled with the details. But they all had good reason to be told. We all learned something of the value of remembering times past and bringing something into the present to apply to our own lives and pass on to the future.
We recount the stories of our own relatives and kin. Moses was calling attention to the stories of a larger family, a family of faith, those whom God had chosen to be his own people. We who are Christians are a part of that family. The story of God’s people is our story to remember, to understand, to incorporate into who we are as persons and to tell to others who need to know it too. For we, too, are God’s people, chosen to live in His love and grace, to inherit His promises.
It is good to have a day to devote to remembering.