Jump Start # 2109
Matthew 26:13 “Truly I say to you, wherever this Gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”
NOTE: Monday is a holiday, so there will be no Jump Start.
This is Memorial Day weekend—it kicks off summer. School is just about out for most kids. It’s time for a day off of work, cook outs, Indy 500, and having fun with family and friends. Memorial Day— it’s a time to honor those who gave their lives serving in the military. Those brave men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice so we can be free and safe. We enjoy this weekend because of what they did.
Remembering is not something that is just unique to Memorial Day. Anniversaries, birthdays, and high school reunions are forms of remembering. “Throwback Thursday” is when people post pictures from the past on Facebook. But long before any of this, God wanted His people to remember. When Joshua and Israel crossed the Jordan River to enter the promise land, stones from the river bottom were collected as a memorial. Don’t forget what happened here. Don’t forget God’s promises.
The grandest of all memorials is the Lord’s Supper. Jesus said, “Do this in memory of Me.” We remember the sacrifice, the cost, the benefits of Jesus amazing love for us upon the cross. Our verse today is another memorial found in the New Testament. Mary anointed Jesus with very costly perfume. She did this in anticipation of His coming death and burial. The sweet fragrance would later be covered by the smell of sweat, blood and death. What Mary did was an act of kindness and love. Jesus didn’t tell her to do this. The apostles, especially dishonest Judas, scolded her. They were doing nothing, but she was doing what she could. So moved was Jesus by this, that He promised that this story would be told wherever the Gospel was preached. It was not to be forgotten—not by Heaven and not by man.
Memory is a funny thing. As we get older, our memory gets fuzzier. Sometimes the way we remembered things is not how they actually happened. We can forget details. It’s like a husband and wife talking about a trip they took. He gets the days of the week wrong, the places wrong and while he is telling his story, his wife is trying to correct the details that he didn’t remember correctly. It’s a cute thing to watch.
All of us who are Christians ought to have a fond memory of people who have helped us in the past. Nearly every preacher I know can recall with great joy the name of some older preacher who helped mentor and open doors for him.
This leads us to a couple of important thoughts:
First, we need to be thankful for the grand people in our lives who have helped us spiritually. There has been teachers, preachers and others who were patient with our questions. They ironed out the wrinkles we had in our thinking. They were there to encourage us. They gave us books. They fed us. They listened to us. They showed us. They were kind to us. Many of those grand old saints are on the other side now. They are resting from their labors. They served the Lord well and they helped us so much. We are busy in the kingdom today because of their examples and their dedication to us and to the Lord.
It’s good to go down memory lane once in a while. We need to do that spiritually. We need to remember, imitate, and appreciate what others have done. Every congregation has those few special folks who have kept things going through the years. They poured heart, soul and finances into the church. They have had lots of people in their home through the years. They have been the first to the church building to unlock the doors, and they were the last to leave to lock the place up at night. Take a moment, this Memorial Weekend, and drop a note to those who have touched your lives. They helped mold you and show you the Lord.
Second, we need to be doing the same for others. Who takes the place of those old grand saints when they can’t carry on anymore? Who fills their shoes when it’s time for them to go over to the other side? Who will be the encouragers? Who will open up their homes? Who will be there to show, teach and guide? Who has the time? Who has the patience? Who has the heart?
I fear that unless more of us step up the next generation won’t be looking at us like we do the ones’ before us. Those grand ole’ saints that sacrificed may not be the story they tell about us. Why? Too busy to teach. Too busy to have folks over in our home. Too much of self in us to sacrifice. Too little commitment. Too easily bothered and too quick to quit.
We must see beyond ourselves. If the Lord allows, someday we hand things over to the next generation. We need to be working hard to make sure we leave things better. Too often the next generation is handed a mess. Sour attitudes. Poor financial position. The church hanging on by a thread. Is that fair to do that to the next generation? We need to think better and do better.
Preacher, someday you’ll be done where you are. Are you making it easier for the next preacher who will follow you? Shepherds, are you making it easier for the next men to shepherd? Are we making the church stronger, better equipped and more capable of carrying on?
Memory. It’s more than genealogies, family heirlooms, old year books and tubs full of old things in the attic. It’s responsibility and it’s making the right choices today that will help others tomorrow. It’s pouring our all into things, just as it has been done for us.
Spiritual memories—they are more than just precious. They have helped us and now it’s our turn to help others.