Monday, September 20, 2021

Memorial memories

by PASTOR JON POMEROY Contributing Writer
| June 4, 2021 1:00 AM

As I am writing this Pastor’s Corner column, Monday’s Memorial Day celebrations and remembrances are still echoing in my heart and mind. It is always a blessing to take time to remember and honor those who have died and served for the freedoms we enjoy! At the same time, I am mindful that this is probably the last Pastor’s Corner I will write, as we will be officially retiring from pastoring the Sandpoint Church of God the last Sunday of this month. We have been in a time of transition since first announcing the news over the past 4 months, and it’s hard to believe that we’re now actually within the last month!

Many emotions and memories have been flooding my heart and mind during this time, and I know that they will continue to 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. God’s Word encourages us to do so, mostly as a way to thank and honor Him for how richly He has blessed us!

The Israelites were instructed to keep “memorials” in different times and ways. Aaron was instructed to put memorial stones bearing the names of the 12 sons of Israel in his ephod (Exodus 28). Moses was instructed to take a census offering from the Israelites as a memorial for atonement (Exodus 39). The high priests were to burn a portion of the grain offerings as a memorial aroma pleasing to the Lord (Leviticus and Numbers).

Probably the most famous and familiar memorial in the Old Testament was when God instructed Joshua (Chapter 4) to take 12 stones from the Jordan River (1 for each tribe) as a memorial to how He parted the waters for them to cross through on dry ground (in a replay of the earlier crossing of the Red Sea under Moses). Since we first arrived here in Sandpoint over 23 years ago, we have had a “Memorial Stone” setting underneath the Communion table in front of the pulpit as a reminder of God’s prior works and blessings that we were privileged to inherit the fruit of!

Every time that we approach the table of the Lord’s Supper, we are reminded of that, and the word’s inscribed 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 has done for us through His death and resurrection! We are reminded of that every time we share the Lord’s Supper. We might rightly refer to it as a “memorial meal!”

Many other blessings and memories have surrounded this central core through the years, but “only Jesus” is the legacy that we desire to leave. As the Christian band “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 that will be the only “legacy” that we leave, and that any “Memorial Memories” are all about Him! And so, in Jesus’ name, “thanks for the memories”!

Pastor Jon L. Pomeroy ministers at the Sandpoint Church of God.