If every day were a day to remember

A holiday set aside for honoring men and women who died serving the U.S. military, Memorial Day got started in the late 1860’s. That’s legions of seasons for reminiscence!

Memorial Day 2011, at San Francisco National Cemetery

What if every day were marked as a day for remembrance? Could we do it?

Probably not. It would take scads of intentionality. Sticky notes everywhere?
A sticky note with the words - Today. Remember!

It takes work to call to mind even ordinary stuff. But reminders can help.

In the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, we read of people building cairns as a way of recollecting that God was at work in their lives.

Jacob built such a monument after distinctly experiencing God’s presence. He stacked stones and called the spot Bethel meaning “God is in this place.” Jacob would never forget that night.

In Joshua 4:1-7, God tells the Israelites to set up a “memento” made up of 12 stones. The purpose? So that when their children asked: “What is this memorial about?” they would then be able to tell the story of the great act that God had done to take care of his people. It was to be a reminder to those who were not there to witness this act, that God was great!

For times when you aren’t sure that God is real and present in your life. (Because those days happen, don’t they?) For questioning times.

a boy stacks stones on a beachThis month our Rotation key Bible verse is about remembering. Jesus advised his disciples and gave them a reminder:

Open quote markGo and make disciples of all nations … and surely I am with you always.   Matthew 28:19-20


What reminders can help us to not forget the every-day, great things that God does? That God is always with us?

What “memorials” — memory tools — can we set up to help us every day, to remember? Try creating something simple…

  • Stack stones: Go out for a walk to collect stones. Once back at home, in a family gathering (perhaps at the dinner table), artfully arrange your rocks while discussing God in your lives that day. Encourage contemplative manipulation of your rock pile.
  • Display a cross: Need a cross to display in your home? How about making one? Check out these ideas (goes to my Pinterst board).
  • Create an “altar” of sorts. Fill a space in your home with reminders of God at work. Allow touching and rearranging and additions and subtractions. (Photo on right is at the Nelson home around Easter time.)

Set up reminders to tell our children the stories of what God has done in our lives.

Photo credits:
A Memorial Day scene by Daniel Parks.
Sticky Note created from a Public Domain image.
Stacking stones by Roy Luck, on Flickr. Flickr images offered via Creative Commons.
Other photo thanks to the Nelson family.

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Remembering… every day

a person walks among flag-decorated gravemarkers

On Memorial Day we remember the men and women who died while serving our country. We also reminisce about lost family members and friends.We gather together, decorate graves, salute flags, and attend parades—a worthwhile day of tribute, a day of telling stories about service and honor and good deeds.

Where it falls on the calendar in the northern hemisphere, Memorial Day also signifies the start of summer. Sunny skies, picnics and vacations; more great memories in the making!

All this brings to mind other observances we need to recognize.

Remembering stories of God with us.

Brooklyn Museum - The Pilgrims of Emmaus on the Road (Les pèlerins d'Emmaüs en chemin) - James Tissot

Our children need to hear our stories of God walking beside us.

Our children need to be reminded of times when God walked with them.

In a recent Rotation from Luke 24:13-35, we heard Cleopas and his traveling companion reflect on their trip from Jerusalem to Emmaus, when they realized that Jesus had been with them!
Open quote markBack and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?”
Luke 24:32

We need to offer opportunities for our kids to join the “fellowship of the burning heart.”

Let this Memorial Day be the start of an every-day-sort-of-thing: tell remember-when stories about times when Jesus was with you.

  • The time the car broke down the night before the big trip (rather than on the road).
  • An out of the blue, call from a friend when you needed to hear from someone just at that moment.
  • A sunny day after so many grey, dreary ones.
  • Hearing a Bible verse that was just what was needed.
  • The list goes on and on!

What are your God-with-you stories?