Memories, A Legacy or Lifeline?

A popular storyline recurring regularly recounts the tragedy of a person who loses their memory due to some tragic event. Then, beset with amnesia, the hero searches for what has been lost and the story unfolds.  Remembering and recovering becomes a victory.  In a similar way, the devastating illness of Alzheimer’s robs a person of their memories and devastates those who love them. Losing the lifeline of memories becomes a living heartbreak.

Memories represent the legacy of a life and become a lifeline .  Yet as I was reminded by a young pastor some years ago Jesus knows we are a forgetful people.  He instituted a special meal to jog our memories, reminding us of his death and promised return.  “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “And he took 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.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. (Luke 22:19-20) 

God frequently commanded His people to provide memory helps to recount all that He had done. Celebrations such as Passover recounted their deliverance from Egypt. Memorial Stones in the Jordan called to mind deliverance and victory.  Over and over God commanded His people to remember all that He had done for them.  Over and over they quickly forgot and began to complain. They had serious memory lapses both short term and long term.  Not only did they forget their deliverance but they also forgot and forsook the One who delivered them. 

Today as we celebrate Memorial Day the USA calls into remembrance the sacrifice of men and women who have paid the ultimate price to secure the national safety and future. It began as a memorial following the devastating civil war and continues to remind us to stop and be grateful for their sacrifice.  For many the day has become merely a day for relaxation and vacation with little thought of it’s intended purpose.  We are in danger of forgetting just as the Israelites did. 

Jesus paid the ultimate price to provide our eternal deliverance as well. It is easy to forget His sacrifice in the rush of daily living.   The courage of our military exemplifies a life willing to put others first.  This Memorial Day, let’s stop to remind ourselves and our families of our national memories and of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice as well.  Might this reflecting motivate us to create a living legacy of gratitude for future generations?  Might we be willing to put others first and sacrifice our time or attention to serving another today? 

Do you have an active service person you could encourage with a note or call? How about a veteran? Perhaps there is someone who served you in some other way in the past who would be strengthened by your remembering them and expressing appreciation?  Turning our eyes outward toward others could make this Memorial Day a lifeline or legacy for someone else.  

Gwynne Johnson currently serves on the Board of Entrust, Inc., an international education and training mission where she authored the Entrust curriculum, Developing a Discerning Heart. She recently served as Co-Chair of the training project, Christian Women in Partnership, Russia and as Senior Director of Women's Ministry at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. Gwynne has a M.A. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. She currently lives in Huntsville, Texas with her husband of 58 years, Don. She works part-time in her daughter and granddaughter's bakery "The Best Box Ever," where she gets paid in cookies.


  • SonShine


    Yesterday our dear Asst Pastor read this passage to us and we "remembered". It is important as our "forgeters" are stronger than our "remember-ers" aren't they? The dreaded "A: disease is a stark reminder of our physical weaknesses and why we need to be a Colossians 3 person in our kindnesses, our faithfulness even when the days are rough with those affected by  this condition. It is sort of like the dreaded "c" when it comes calling. May we be a people who are in season and out of season always asking ourselves WWJD and one of those is "as oft as you do this remember me" and what I did for you.

    Good reminder Gwynne