Monday, May 28, 2012
A “living memorial”—is it an oxymoron? After all, a ‘memorial’ service honors the dead, memorializing the departed. A few people who’ve lived extraordinary lives are deemed important enough to be memorialized in perpetuity by having cities or schools named after them, or even by monument. Today, we remember our citizen soldiers, who by unwanted circumstance, sacrificed their lives for freedom, their only monument a headstone. But headstones and statues are as dead as the people they represent.
For the first 12 years of my life, my family attended a church called “Memorial Baptist.” Looking back now, I think there was irony in its name—it was kind of a dead church. What a shame. Jesus is the Head of the Church; it is His Body. And He is not the 'Head of the dead.' If anything, that little Baptist church should have been called the “Living Memorial Baptist”—a witnesses to the transforming power of His life, death, resurrection and ascension.
Ultimately, that is what a memorial is—a witness to someone’s life. And of course Jesus’ Church is that witness, made up of individual living memorials or witnesses—members who died to this world, but are alive in Christ. Paul called us to be “living sacrifices” (Rom. 12:1)—daily dying to self that we might show the world who Christ is. What a good day this is to remind ourselves that we are, in fact, living memorials to show "life" to a dying world.