As I write this Pastor’s Corner column, Monday’s Memorial Day celebrations and memories still resonate in my heart and mind. It is always a blessing to take the time to remember and honor those who have died and served for the freedoms we enjoy! At the same time, I am aware that this is probably the last Pastor’s Corner I will write, as we will officially retire from the ministry of The Church of God in Sandpoint on the last Sunday of this month. We are going through a period of transition since the news first broke in the last 4 months, and it’s hard to believe that we are now in the last month!
Many emotions and memories flooded my heart and mind during this time, and I know they will continue for as long as I live. Precious memories are a gift from God to keep alive and “relive” the most precious moments we have experienced. The Word of God encourages us to do this, primarily as a way to thank and honor him for the richness with which he has blessed us!
The Israelites were ordered to keep “memorials” at different times and in different ways. Aaron was commissioned to put memorial stones with the names of the 12 sons of Israel in his ephod (Exodus 28). Moses was commissioned to take a census offering from the Israelites as a memorial for the atonement (Exodus 39). The high priests were to burn part of the grain offerings as a commemorative aroma pleasing to the Lord (Leviticus and Numbers).
Probably the most famous and familiar memorial from the Old Testament was when God asked Joshua (chapter 4) to take 12 stones from the Jordan River (1 for each tribe) in remembrance of how he separated the waters. so that they can cross dry. sol (in a replay of the previous crossing of the Red Sea under Moses). Since we first arrived here in Sandpoint over 23 years ago, we have placed a “memorial stone” under the communion table in front of the pulpit to remind us of God’s past works and blessings that we have received. had the privilege of inheriting the fruit!
Every time we approach the Lord’s Supper table, we are reminded of this, and the word is written on the front of the table, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Many times the Israelites were reminded to “remember and never forget” what God had done for them. And of course the most important and greatest thing to “remember and never forget” is what Jesus did for us through his death and resurrection! We are reminded of this whenever we share the Lord’s Supper. We might rightly call it a “Memorial Meal!”
Many other blessings and memories have surrounded this central core over the years, but “only Jesus” is the legacy we desire to leave. As the Christian group “Casting Crowns” sings, “I don’t want to leave a legacy; I don’t care if they remember me – only Jesus ”! I hope and pray that this will be the only “legacy” we leave, and that all “commemorative memories” will be entirely dedicated to Him! And so, in the name of Jesus, “thank you for the memories”!
Pastor Jon L. Pomeroy is ministering at Sandpoint Church of God.