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Memorial Day

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the LORD. This is a law for all time.”

Exodus 12:14

One of the striking features of Exodus 12 is the interweaving of the actual events of the first Passover with the establishment of the annual feast of Passover. The Lord not only delivered the Israelites from slavery by striking the firstborn of the Egyptians, but also he set up a way for the Israelites to remember this event forever.

The New Living Translation of verse 14 begins: “This is a day to remember.” This means that the events of the actual day of the Passover should be remembered and that there should be a special day for such remembrance. The Hebrew of this verse might be translated literally: “This is a day of remembrance for you.” It is a memorial day.

Exodus 12 reminds us how important it is to have traditions that foster remembrance. That’s why we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, at least in principle. And it’s why we set aside holidays (holy days) to recall the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. But I wonder if we sometimes miss the richness of remembrance by failing to establish rituals that encourage recollection. Wouldn’t our gatherings on holidays be far more meaningful if we developed traditions that helped us remember why we were celebrating? Don’t we need to hear again and again the stories that remind us of God’s grace in our lives?

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you have any traditions in your life that are rather like the Passover in Judaism? What might you do with your family or friends to encourage intentional remembrance and celebration?

PRAYER: Lord, I am fascinated by the way you wove together the actual deliverance of your people from Egypt with the establishment of a day to remember this act of salvation. When I think of my own life, I see some celebrations that are rather like this. But I also realize that I need to sit down with my family and friends and think again about how our celebrations of remembrance might be richer and more meaningful. Give us creativity, Lord, to fill our lives with traditions that help us to recall and celebrate your amazing grace. Amen.

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