The key event in this month of November is our Remembrance Day ceremonies which occur on November 11.  On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice in 1918 that ended World War I, we remember all of the brave young men and women who died to preserve and protect freedom around the world in conflicts such as World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the present-day conflict in Afghanistan.  There is a very clear purpose to this process of remembering.  As Veterans Affairs Canada, on their website, says:

By remembering their service and their sacrifice, we recognize the tradition of freedom these men and women fought to preserve. They believed that their actions in the present would make a significant difference for the future, but it is up to us to ensure that their dream of peace is realized. On Remembrance Day, we acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who served their country and acknowledge our responsibility to work for the peace they fought hard to achieve.[1]

What we remember affects who we are and what we do.  In remembering the sacrifice of those who died for peace we become a people who value peace and we work for peace.  And so it is in all the other aspects of our life.  The question is this:  What are you remembering?  Are you remembering a wound inflicted upon you by someone else?  Are you remembering something terrible that you have done in the past?  Are you remembering some delicious temptation that will draw you away from God and into sin?

Jesus died on the cross and rose again to give us a whole new set of memories to remember.  He washes us clean of all our sin and makes us a child of God in Holy Baptism.  And then he calls us to remember our Baptism.  Jesus gives us His Body and Blood for the strengthening of our faith in Holy Communion.  Then He calls us to participate in this sacred meal “in remembrance of Me.”  Jesus changes how we think by filling our mind with the message of His Word:  forgiveness, life and salvation through Him.   Then He calls us to remember how we were once separated from God, but now, through His blood, we have been brought near to God (cf. Eph. 2:11-12).

We have so many wonderful things to remember:  we are forgiven, our guilt has all been taken away, we are children of God, Jesus loves us, He gives us healing for our wounds, and the list goes on.  Those memories affect who we are:  we are followers of Jesus Christ.  And those memories affect what we do:  We share the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ with people of all ages everywhere so that they may grow in faith toward God and in love toward their neighbours.  And we want to be a spiritual home for the people of southwest Saskatchewan that nurtures people in their Christian faith and encourages them in their Christian service to others.  May God richly bless you as remember His great love for you!

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

(This article was written for the November 2006 edition of The Binder, the monthly newsletter of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Swift Current SK.)

[1] “A Day of Remembrance: Why Remember?” Internet; available at:; downloaded: 26 October 2006.

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