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One of the many pleasures of being a grandparent is taking her
grandchildren to the park. The parks in our area often contain
swings, playgrounds, fields to run on, and many other opportunities
for children to play. In some of these parks you will find a series
of paths; you can tell from the construction that they were built
during the 1930s in that particular style that says, "Great
Depression". Often enough, the paths will take you entirely around
the park. It's fun to take your grandchildren to explore these
If you do, it's likely enough that you will encounter — in a
rather out-of-the-way spot — a war memorial. There seems to be a
certain style to these things:
They point out the sacrifices of those who died in the war, which
ever war that might be. Often enough, there will be a cannon dragged
out of who knows what armory rusting in the sun.
The design of the memorial is intended to produce contemplation. You
are supposed to remember those who died; you are supposed to
remember what they sacrificed for. Perhaps, even, you are to
contemplate whether or not the current war is worth the sacrifice.
The memorial is designed to last — usually, there is a plaque of
bronze listing the names of those who fell. It's usually mounted on
a stone monument. Those who built it want you to remember.
Communion is a memorial too. It has much the same characteristics
as the war memorial in the park:
It points out the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross, so that
you might have salvation from sin. In the elements of communion we
see that sacrifice; the bread, his body and the fruit of the vine,
It is designed to cause contemplation. We are told to examine
ourselves and repent. We are also to contemplate his sacrifice, and
the great love it shows to us.
By his command, we are to do this until he comes again — a lasting
memorial until the end of time.
If you go to the park it is just possible you may see a veteran
at that memorial. It's usually a very quiet scene; you may detect
tears in his eyes. Some of the names on the bronze are his friends;
indeed, they might even be those who died beside him. Don't look
around at your neighbors; some of them have tears in their eyes this
morning. They are examining themselves, repenting – and remembering.