RememberIs Remembering Enough?

From holidays to monuments, memorials commemorate and preserve a significant person, place or event. Think of memorials as direction markers in history showing the people and events that shaped cultures. Consider the following examples:

Memorial Day honors all US military personnel who have perished during all wars and military actions in which the United States has been involved.

Labor Day celebrates the American labor movement and commemorates the social and economic achievements of workers.

Veterans’ Day honors people who served in the US Armed Forces. It coincides with Armistice Day and Remembrance Day celebrated in other countries. All of these mark the anniversary of the end of WWI.

Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 when the United States declared independence from Great Britain.

The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France in 1886, is a worldwide symbol of freedom & democracy.

Castle Clinton, the most visited national monument in the United States, sits on the bottom of Manhattan Island and was originally built to protect New York from British invasion during the War of 1812.

Memorials aid our memory and help us preserve what we cherish most as a culture. We have many types of memorials throughout history such as stones, prehistoric drawings on cave walls, grave markers, tombs, pyramids, obelisks and statues.

Memorials also exist on a more personal level. We have special days like birthdays and anniversaries to commemorate the most important people in our lives. We have objects like wedding rings and photographs to help that remembrance to go beyond just a single day a year.

While remembering certainly exists on a variety of levels in our lives, is simply remembering enough? Is just bringing to mind people and places and events enough to serve the purpose for which these memorials exist?

Active Remembering

To help answer these questions, consider the theme of “remembering” that runs heavily throughout the Bible. Looking in depth at the word used for remembering can help us understand how we are called beyond simply recalling or remembering.

Azakarah (n) “memorial” = a sacrificial term describing the act “which brings the offerer into remembrance before God, or which brings God into honorable remembrance with the offerer.”

Zakhar (v) “to prick,” “pierce,” “penetrate”

These definitions help us see that the idea of “remembering” in Scripture goes well beyond just recollection. Action and sacrifice are also significant aspects of remembering.

Remembering or recalling by itself isn’t enough. Without action, we just have a day off work or a reason to eat or spend too much. When a call to action accompanies our remembering — which it does throughout Scripture — we find ourselves changed, hopefully for the better, as a result of that active remembering.

Along with this post, several more help explore this idea of active remembering:

The goal of studying “remembering” in this way is to discover the true purpose remembering should have in our lives. With that purpose, we can see the results that active remembering can bring to the life of a Christian.

Sunday Reflections – Why Do You Labor?

Graphic created by Kriss Szkurlatowski

The purpose of Labor Day involves paying tribute to those who contribute to the social and economic success of a nation. The day also serves to honor the fundamental dignity of all workers.

For many people, labor (work) exists as a necessary evil and a means to an end. We work for money. Yet, the perspective God mean for us to have of work goes so far beyond this basic view of work.

The history and development of labor around the world actually involves Christianity to a great extent. (For more on that topic, check out the article In Celebration of Labor by Chuck Colson.) Let’s do a scripture study of work to help us not only understand this involvement, but also to help us see how God wants us to view work.

What Does the Bible Say About Work?

  1. Hard work helps supply basic needs. (Proverbs 28:19)
  2. All work should be done as though for God. (Ephesians 6:5-9)
  3. Our work for God is never wasted. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
  4. Hard work is honored by God. (Genesis 31:38-42)
  5. Hard work brings rewards. (Proverbs 12:14)
  6. We should use our skills, which are from God, to honor God. (Exodus 36:1)

Not only do these scriptures help us see the heart of God regarding work, but they also can change our attitudes about the work He gives us to do. And as our attitudes change to bring our hearts into alignment with His, the positive impact of our lives as a ministry increases.

Hopefully, knowing that God’s view of work goes well beyond simply a way for our basic needs to be met will transform our approach to work. So what stands in your way of not just viewing work as God view it but also living out what He intended for us in our work?

A Personal Challenge for Labor Day

Consider taking some time this Labor Day to consider how you can apply these scripture to your work. The following questions will help you in this personal challenge.

  1. Are you working only to obtain what is temporary, or does what you work for also hold eternal value?
  2. Are you being faithful where God has placed you, even if the terrain is rough and rocky?
  3. What are your goals and priorities regarding work?
  4. How is your time management (stewardship of your time) with regard to work?
  5. Are you following godly principles when it comes to how you handle work responsibilities? Your coworkers? Your employer? Your choice of occupation?
  6. What goals can you set regarding your work and career?
  7. How does your work ethic and attitude reflect to non-Christians how God views work? How are you representing Him?

DISCUSSION: What changes can you make in how you view and approach labor/work?

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