Today, the Catholic Church around the world will remember the saints who have died.
In some Protestant churches this Sunday, the names of the recently deceased will be called out in a roll-call fashion and with each name called, there will be a candle lit in the church.
In other churches, plaques will be raised in memory of all those who have passed within the last year.
Today, the international churches will remember the dead and thank God for their lives.
But, like many my age, I’m not a part of any such a church tradition. In the milieu of change that has taken place in church recently — change of worship, change of preaching style, change of traditions — we’ve managed to be so concerned about touching the present that we’ve lost touch with our past.
In fact, many churches are so young they simply don’t have a past.
About a year ago we had a service for a middle-aged man who committed suicide. The pastor was in his late 30s, he had pastored his small, young church for 10 years and this was the first funeral service he had ever done for a congregant.
If you’re like me, and your church is so young it doesn’t have a history of death, I want to challenge you today.
Remember. In your own way. Remember.
Remember publicly. And if you’re young, the best way to remember publicly is through social media. Facebook. Your blog. Start an email chain with your family.
Embracing our past creates health for our present and clarifies the future.
So let me start:
Today I want to remember my Mom-Mom Wilde and my Pop-Pop Brown.
In 1992, my family suddenly lost my paternal grandmother at the age of 59. I’m the oldest of her grandchildren and my memories are at times fuzzy. And from what I understand and from the little memory I have, she had a deeply caring heart for others, always giving of herself and her time. And while I know my compassion doesn’t rival hers, I do know that this heritage was passed down from her, to my dad to me. Mom-Mom, I remember you today and I thank you for all the love you poured into my father, which he has in turn given to me! We miss you!
A couple years ago, my maternal grandfather passed. He was a gentle man whose business savvy provided for his family when he was alive and continues to provide for his wife, my grandmother, years after he’s gone. I’d like to believe that those attributes are something that he sowed into me, that still live on today.
My love of ice cream was inspired by you. My love of foresight and prudence was instilled in me by you. And the way I love and care for Nicki … you will always be one of the prime examples of how a man should love his wife. Thank you. I miss you. We all miss you.