The work of remembering

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada.

It’s a day to remember and honour those who fought and died in the horrors of war, paying the ultimate sacrifice.

I think we need to acknowledge that remembering takes work. We live in a time when we’re very “in the moment.” Many people venerate all things here-and-now and therefore tend to downplay the significance of the past.

Maybe it’s always been that way. After God had stopped the waters of the Jordan River so the entire Hebrew nation could pass through, Joshua told twelve men to take stones and construct a memorial: “These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:7).

It was something they did—something they could see and touch to help them remember. Too often for us humans, out of sight means out of mind.

Both then and now, remembering is something intentional we do so that we don’t forget something important—whether that be how God helped the Hebrews cross the Jordan, or how men and women paid the ultimate sacrifice so the rest of us could enjoy our valuable freedom.

Maybe it’s just me, but lately I’ve been thinking that the things we take for granted sometimes become things that are taken away.

Let’s not let that happen.

Pause. Remember. Give thanks. Pray. Let’s do the work of remembering. It honours the men and women who served. It also ensures we never take for granted the life-giving freedoms we’ve been given and which we never want to be taken away.

By Matthew Ruttan

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

–My most recent sermon is “In but not of the world.” Click here to watch on YouTube.

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