Herald JournalColumns
June 12, 2006, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

Memorials remind us to be thankful

Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Apostolic Lutheran Church, Kingston

Joshua 4:21: And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, “When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come,” saying, “What mean these stones?”

Joshua 4:22: Then ye shall let your children know, saying, “Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.”

Recently a stone memorial was constructed and placed within the city of Dassel for the purpose of honoring and keeping in our memories the names of those who have given their lives in the service of our country. And it is with great appreciation and thankfulness that we have recently paused from our regular duties of life in order to remember not only those who have served, but we also have had opportunity to reflect upon the cost of freedom as we attended and listened to various people speak at these observances. Those who have been instrumental for the placing of the memorial in Dassel are to be thanked for their devotion to the memory of the cost of freedom.

The placing of stones to serve as reminders to us of significant events is not new, as it has been done for many thousands of years. As we drive by the new monument in Dassel and bring attention to the memorial, one may not only be reminded of its purpose, but also there may be the opportunity to share with our families and friends the purpose of the memorial. For instance, one may be asked, “Why is it there?” or “Why is it important to remember those who have fought for freedom?” thus giving us a golden opportunity to explain to our children and grandchildren just that, why it is there and why is important to remember and honor those who have sacrificed their lives for freedom.

Just as our God has instructed His people to utilize memory joggers in the days gone by, we continue to follow this useful and helpful tradition.

Memorials are placed on the lands of America that we would remember that there is a cost of freedom, but even greater yet, memorials are placed in our minds and hearts so that we would remember that we have been given deliverance of a spiritual nature: the deliverance from the guilt and bondage of sin to freedom in Jesus Christ by the grace of God.

The memories include such things as special Bible verses which we have committed to memory and which we treasure, hymns and songs which have struck a special chord deep within our soul, an encouraging and inspiring plaque upon the wall of our home, a special friendship with a loved one or with a special friend, a poem and so forth.

When anyone of these bring to memory the blessing which we have received from our Lord, we experience anew great thankfulness for not only the deliverance, but the continued grace and blessing, which we enjoy today, as well as the hope for the future. For memories preserve the past, enrich the present and give hope to the future.

Faithfulness to the preservation of truths of God in our minds and hearts as recorded in the inerrant scriptures gives enrichment in our lives today and gives us a bright hope for tomorrow. May we be found often reading and meditating upon the Bible, which always points us to Jesus.

God bless all of you in your lives in Christ.


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