Blog. 6.13.2022


Attending someone’s memorial service is one of the more underrated experiences that most people avoid or dismiss. Being in this profession for the last nine years, I have had ample opportunity to listen to an individual’s farewell tribute, even when I didn’t know them personally. It is fascinating to hear about someone’s life and legacy. I get to formulate my thoughts and opinions about them from the perspective of their entire life. And typically, at these celebrations of life, the only things that are shared are good memories, so I get to know the best about an individual (this helps with the concept of grace). We often see people for a brief snapshot of their life, and these moments only give us insights into who they are and the lives they lived. But at a memorial service, I can hear their impact and the memories shared across the totality of their existence. Whenever I leave a service like this, I feel the urge to make the most of my time on earth. I think of the memories I will leave for others to cherish, and I want to make sure that the memories that people have of me are good ones. And when people think of me, it will be a fond memory they recall. 

Memories are an interesting phenomenon. They are tied back to the person that we once knew. They link us to each other in ways that overcome space and time. We can instantly recall someone in our life’s history long after our interactions with them are gone. It is a humbling and encouraging thought to know the impact we can have on each other. Tragically our intimate recollections are also fleeting. It will eventually disappear no matter how much we want to hold onto a memory. It is a sad truth that there will come a time when no one will remember us. The writer of Ecclesiastes put it like this: “No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them” (Ecclesiastes 1:11). Think about it from your anecdotal perspective; what do you really know about your great-great-great-grandfather or grandmother? Do you even know their names? As depressing as this thought can be, I want to leave you with a hopeful message; no matter who forgets about you on earth or how temporal everything appears, there is one who knows you and will never forget you. 

Luke 12:6-7 
“What is the price of five sparrows–two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. 7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

Although there will come a time when no one remembers you, God will always know you. Jesus’ words in this passage are reassuring and comforting. We are so valuable to God; He even numbers the hair on our heads. The details that God knows about us are truly immeasurable. And even when others forget about me, God will know these intimate details. And for those who participate in the new covenant, there is an additional benefit. 

Hebrews 8:10-12 
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

God will remove all our sins and remember them no more. Like these memorial services, He will recall only the best parts of us and bring them to memory. Our earthly memories will fade and come to an end, but to the Living God, we will always be remembered as those made blameless in the blood of the Son. That is why the best actions we can take in this life are not to live for the praise and accolades of men but to secure our treasure in heaven, where even memories will not be extinguished by the ravages of time.