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Remember Me

Do this in remembrance of Me. (Luke 22:19)

It has been a very joyous and momentous week as we gave our daughter Sarah away in marriage. It was also punctuated by sadness at the passing away of “Ali John”, as he was affectionately known (in photo: John in his younger days). Such is life as it is lived through the passage of time. We tend to celebrate the joyous moments (weddings, birthdays) and pay scant attention to the sad ones (funerals etc). When it comes to weddings, we want to remember through photos, photobooks and videos. However, it seems like we want to forget those who have passed away.

Is this a Christian view? We recall how Jesus said, “Remember Me.” In every Service, we do “commemorate the dead”, especially when we have communion. In fact, in many parts of the Church, ancient and modern, saints are remembered in very concrete ways and through various traditions. In many churches, the cemetery is on the same grounds. On your way to Service, you walked pass the tombs of your ancestors. Some churches in Singapore have columbarium and gardens of remembrance. The list is long but somehow not strong enough to help us overcome our Asian or modern view of life and death.

When you really think of it, a life should also be celebrated at every milestone, including the last one. So, how should one honour or celebrate those who have passed away?

Think and speak well of them. It is strange how we define people’s lives by their weaknesses or bad moments. However, there is so much goodness and “Godness” in others if we care to see it. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, if we really think about it, after all the sacrifices which a mother has made, why should we define her by her weakest moments? I know of children how bears a life-long grudge and bitterness over something their mother has said. A person should be honoured not while he or she is alive. In fact, his legacy is eternal, and one should continue to honour others, especially when we believe that we will be together in eternity.

Celebrate the Memories. Memories are a key part of our heritage. They give us a sense of identity and continuity. By sharing stories and traditions, we connect with our roots and pass on a sense of belonging to the next generation. Whether through photos, family recipes, or shared traditions, these memories help keep the spirit of our loved ones alive.

Live the Legacy. The influence of your loved ones lives on in you, in your children and in your children’s children. It is now your turn to shape your family legacy. So, with God’s help, shape it well. That will be one priceless treasure to steward and pass on to future generations. Where possible, pass on the faith. It is heart- breaking when our children abandon the “faith of their fathers.” This is unavoidable as faith is a personal choice. Yet, our children will not depart far from our faith and values if we have lived them well.

John, we cherish the moments we shared with you and in Christ, we will meet again one day.


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