Today finds Norma Jean and me in the Washington, D. C. area with Phil and Lori Mullins. It is combination vacation and meeting trip. I will be speaking for the Dulles church on the topic of leadership over the week-end.
Next week we hope to see some of the time-honored memorials in the area. The newly remodeled and reopened Washington Monument. The Lincoln memorial. The Jefferson Memorial. Arlington. One day we may drive to Gettysburg and see the battlefield memorials in the National cemetery.
Memorial are important. The tell a valuable story. They speak to our history. They remind us of our roots. They give rise to reflection. Meditation. And contemplation. They elicit in us serious thoughts. Deeper thoughts. Nobler thoughts.
God likewise has used memorials to remind us of Him. His Word. And the gift of His Son.
The rainbow in the sky serves as a memorial of God’s covenant to never again destroy the world with a flood. (Gen 9:13-16)
The beauty and grandeur of the cosmos is a memorial to God’s creative handiwork and His eternal glory (Ps 19:1-4).
When Israel crossed the Jordan into the promised land, God commanded that they take 12 stones from the river bed to create a monument. When future generations would ask, “What do these stones mean?” God instructed them to relate the historical crossing into Canaan. He said they would be “a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”(Josh 4:1-9)
Today, Christians are reminded of God’s love, the sacrifice of His Son, and our covenant relationship with Him through the “blood of His cross” (Col 1:20). The cross symbolizes the glory of God. The wisdom of God. And our reconciliation with God.
Paul admitted that to the erudite Greek thinker “the preaching of the cross was foolishness.” However, to us “who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor 1:17-18). When we think of that Friday on Calvary’s Hill, we are reminded of God’s eternal plan that He purposed in Christ Jesus.
The cross speaks to our separation from God. Our desperate need for salvation. And to our sins. In the cross we see His grace. Mercy. And forgiveness. And we find help. Hope. And healing.
But the memorial that Jesus instituted to bring those thoughts to our minds and create those feelings in our hearts is experienced in fellowship with Him during the Communion service, we call The Lord’s Supper. When he gave the bread that represented His body, and the fruit of the vine the symbolized his blood, he said, “this do in remember of me” (Matt 26:26-26)
Every Sunday I come to this memorial. And I participate in it’s significance. But I don’t need to travel to a special location to observe it. I have been to this memorial from Maine to California to Hawaii. From North Dakota to Texas to the Virgin Islands. And From Mexico to Canada to Kazakhstan.
This Sunday I come to the memorial service with the Dulles brethren in Ashburn, VA. And while I may see some incredible historical site in D.C., none will be more important, more poignant or more powerful than the memorial of Christ’s communion that I celebrate with fellow Christians.
The memorial supper of Jesus is simple, but profound. Permanent, yet mobile. A weekly obligation, but really a blessed privilege. A time of historical refection, yet one of current application. An occasion to contemplate the sufferings of the cross, but rejoice in the power of the resurrection. An opportunity to visit the sacred past, but also to anticipate the glorious hope of an eternal future.
This memorial is personal, and yet collective. And I will share it with fellow followers of Christ. Those who are partners in His purpose. Messengers of His mission. And companions in Christ’s cause for spiritual freedom.
Today’s Friday. But Sunday’s Coming! I will meet you at the memorial!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman