Every May I usually see a patriotic meme floating around Facebook with a gravestone and caption that reads: “MEMORIAL DAY: In case you thought it was national BBQ day.”
Those words ought to make us pause. Don’t get me wrong. I love the extra day off work, fruit salads, and floating in the pool. But, this phrase reminds me that we are all forgetful creatures by nature.
You might think that having a holiday to help us commemorate the service men who have died would help us recall their sacrifice. The very word “memorial” even brings to mind the word “memory.” Yet, sometimes we spend more time thinking about hotdogs.
What’s even worse is that we are too quick to forget spiritual moments of significance in our lives as well. Recently, I was studying the story of the Passover in Exodus 12. Many of us recall the story of Moses and the Exodus from our Sunday School days, but two things in particular stood out this time.
First, as the Israelites were being saved from bondage in Egypt, God said to Moses, “This month will be for you the beginning of the months; it is to be the first of the months of the year to you” (v. 2).
Their calendar year was built around God’s salvation--how God saved them and called them out to be his people! As each new year started, they would be reminded of God’s goodness in their lives and it would serve as a memorial for coming generations.
Second, the Israelites were to pass down this Passover observance to future generations (vv. 24–28). Parents play a crucial role in teaching their children about the Lord, and in fact are commanded to tell their offspring of the redemptive work of God in their lives.
Their Passover celebrations demonstrate the importance of remembering God’s goodness and passing it down from generation to generation, and foreshadowed and even great redemptive act of God. The Israelites were saved from physical bondage from Egypt. As believers, we have been saved from spiritual bondage to sin through Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.
As we remember our fallen soldiers, don’t forget to spend some time reflecting on the greatest sacrifice of all. Take a moment to talk with your family about how Christ is the ultimate example of laying one’s life down for another. If the Israelites were to remember how God saved them from Egypt, how much more ought we to remember how God has saved us for all eternity!