A memorial is something designed to preserve the memory of a person or an event, as a monument or a holiday. Popular physical forms of memorials include landmark objects or art objects such as sculptures, statues or fountains, and even entire parks.
Pictured above is the Murmansk Memorial Lighthouse. It is located on a hill just a few kilometers out of the center of the city of Murmansk in northwestern Russia. Built in 2002, it stands 92 feet tall. This lighthouse has no navigational value. It was built solely as a memorial to seamen lost in the Arctic Sea.
Memorials are meant to promote a solemn remembrance —a quiet time to reflect on people or events that have affected our lives in one way or another. Their purpose is to render homage, honor, and respect. In many cases, to a person or people who died either by natural causes, in an accident, as a victim of a crime, or who voluntarily gave their life (or lives) for a greater cause.
Many memorials have been erected in memory of those who have died during times of war —people whom we consider to be true heroes because they sacrificed their lives in order to secure that of others. Interestingly enough, the Murmansk Memorial Lighthouse contains a Hall of Memory which showcases memorial plaques and a book that lists the names of all military and civilian sailors who died in times of peace.
Every year, on the last Monday in May, America celebrates Memorial Day. You can follow THIS LINK for a history of this holiday.
In almost every nation there is a day/week/month dedicated to memorializing a person or an event of significance. Christians around the world celebrate various memorials throughout the year, but the most significant one is the Lord’s Supper a.k.a. Holy Communion. It is a time when believers in Jesus come together and partake in an act which Jesus himself told us to perform in remembrance of Him. Different denominations celebrate this ordinance in different ways.
But as with any other memorial celebration, I believe there should be no particular day or time to commemorate the birth, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We ought to celebrate these life and history changing events each and every day of our lives. In other words, we ought to render unto Jesus a daily memorial. This would greatly help us in remembering the price He paid so that we would be set free from the penalty of sin. It would reassure us of His presence, holiness, and promises wherever we go. And it would serve as an antidote for not falling into temptation or dishonoring His name whenever we face morally challenging situations. This does not mean that we should not venerate Holy Communion or celebrate it as often as our church bylaws require. It simply means that we should not wait until a particular day (usually Sundays) to remember what Jesus willingly endured for us at Calvary’s Cross. Nor should we make of such a blessed ordinance an emotional/insincere religious ritual.
It would even help us to stay focused on our Lord’s redemptive work if whenever we gather in fellowship (as a church), whether for a potluck or holiday dinner, a picnic, or even a Small Group snacktime if we viewed it as coming together to “break bread.” It would be another opportunity to thank the Lord not only for our daily bread but for His soul-saving sacrifice. A sacrifice that allows us to freely and openly gather (for now) in His name and celebrate His life!
How about we don’t wait until Christmas to celebrate His birth?
Or Good Friday to remember His death?
Or Easter to celebrate His resurrection?
How about we begin each and every day (in prayer) remembering how He stripped himself of His glory and came to be born in a stable? How about we think of how he died a gruesome death on a cross to save us from sin and hell whenever we are tempted? How about we take random mental breaks to remember and then proclaim His life, His love, His miracles, His power, and His promises, including the one that He will come back again? How about we render a daily memorial to our Lord and Savior whether by ourselves or in the company of other believers?
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, may the meditation of my heart always include the remembrance of your great love demonstrated at Calvary. May my mouth continually proclaim your unconditional love, your saving grace, and your eternal promises so that others may be drawn to you. May my life reflect your life as I live remembering who you are, what you’ve done, and what you promise to do in my life. I celebrate your life, your death, and your resurrection until will we meet face to face. In your precious name, I pray, Amen!
“And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” – Luke 22:19
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6
“For what I [Paul] received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
“This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” – Acts 1:11
-ALL SCRIPTURE IS QUOTED FROM THE NIV EXCEPT WHERE SPECIFIED