Remembrance

Deuteronomy 11:18-21 says

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates,so that your days and the days of your children may be manyin the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

Remembrance day is set aside to reflect on the sacrifices that make it possible for us to enjoy the peace we have today. Veterans and their families are celebrated for selflessness and courage, and children are taught about the horrors of war. Leading up to this day many people wear a poppy to show their remembrance.

As the Israelites prepared to enter the promised land after 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses did not want them to forget the price they had paid, and he did not want their children, who had not witnessed God’s miracles of deliverance and provision, to forget God’s power and goodness. He tells the people to reflect deeply, to fix his words in their hearts and minds. Before their wisdom and instruction can be given to the next generation, it must first be understood. When this is done, the people are instructed to make symbols, create signs to wear as constant reminders and to show each other their remembrance. This is like wearing a poppy for the first 11 days of November – it is simple but effective.

Teach these words to your children, Moses says, taking every opportunity to answer their questions, to share your stories. There is no right or wrong time to remember for the sake of the next generation: together at home, out running errands, before bed, at the start of the day. For Christians, I think it is great practice to look for God’s movement in our daily lives, to reflect on his character and take every opportunity for obedience. We certainly can’t catch every opportunity to share our faith, but it helps to have our eyes open for the opportunities in the first place. Whether you have children or not, the “you” Moses uses is plural – he is speaking to the entire community, and our obligation as a community is to the next generation as a whole, not just our kids.

As a practical application of this, since Remembrance day is almost over, Matt and I want to remember for Advent this year. We’ve talked about some different options, but whatever we decide, I hope it will be the beginning of a tradition for our family to reflect on, show, and share our faith with each other and with our community.

 

Pin It

Comments

Ericka M 27-11-2013, 21:58

Well, I see this is not the authorized King James Version of Deuteronomy 11:18-21, and that I do prefer. Well, this Remembrance Day may be full of pagan rituals as I keep witnessing at the yearly Winnipeg Convention Centre. This year I did go, however, with a woman friend who has never gone to any Remembrance Day ceremonies before. I was upset when this woman who was sitting next to me on my right told me that she wished she never sat there beside me and asked if, for this one day, I could be positive and not negative! Well! Just what exactly was she offended at that she said that, I’m sure I don’t know. As far as I knew, my friend and I were just tallking about things related to November 11th. We somehow got into talking about the Army, and her daughter has been in it for 5 years; that I had been in the army for 8 days then had to quit and how I was treated and so on.

I told this woman to my right that I was not talking to her but to my friend, that it was none of her business what we were talking about and that this whole ceremony was negative. Well, wasn’t it? I was there to show respect and remembrance to those who fought and gave their lives so we can have the freedoms we have, or did have. And for someone to try to prevent me from exercising my freedom of speech that people fought for, well, excuse me, but we were not being disrespectful of anyone or anything and were not talking when there was something going on. There was a lot of silence and I don’t mean just the two-minutes of silence, but besides that silence. Then the woman got up, was crying, then walked away. So I’m guessing she was taking something out on me.

Then 2 years before that, I was asked by a man sitting behind me if I would take off my hat! I told him that I could not do that. He told me, but my hat was pointy and he could not see past it. I refused to move, though and maybe I should have, but I didn’t because I felt that it was such a frivolous concern. I told him that people fought and died for us, and you want to be concerned about frivolous things? Though I don’t think I moved because I didn’t see anywhere to move to. Though maybe I should have tried to move? I don’t know.

Reply
Ericka M 27-11-2013, 22:00

By the way, Alyssa, is it possible for you to email to me this poppy photo? I’ve been wanting to make a Remembrance Day craft and am looking for the perfect poppy photo. If that’s OK with you.

Reply
alyssa 29-11-2013, 15:41

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1404828
This is the source for the photo, and you should be able to download it from there 🙂

Reply

Leave a Reply


*