By Allen Teal, chaplain
“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19, ESV).
One could call November the “Month of Memories.” We remember our soldiers and the end of World War I on November 11. The armistice was signed at eleven a. m. on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. On the seventh of the month, we have to remember to vote. November 24th, we remember to shop—it’s Black Friday. Thanksgiving comes on November 23rd when we remember to give thanks.
Special times make special memories.
Memories often carry more value than possessions. When asked what they would save from a fire or a flood after human lives are rescued, people often respond with answers that include family pictures and heirlooms. Things that are imbued with memories and considered irreplaceable. Nearly every family has these treasured items and memories. Memories add color and purpose to our lives.
Family memories are two-sided coins.
Parents have fond memories of their children growing up. There were special words they mispronounced, small tasks they eventually mastered, and tough times that they needed guidance to overcome.
At the same time, children remember their parents from their early years. The tender hands that helped them bathe and dress. Their ability to answer hard questions and step up to offer protection during scary times. There are memories of parents being there for major accomplishments to cheer them on. Other memories are of times of failure when parents greeted them with open arms and sympathetic hearts.
Thanksgiving is a time for remembering.
While the focus is on gratitude, sharing memories around a meal is also important. Remembering how good times and bad times were survived by leaning on one another. Often the memories include those that have passed on but still linger fondly in our hearts. Helping one another to remember the precious times gone by is an important part of our family heritage. The real treasures that we inherit from our families cannot be measured in dollars. They are those things when we, like Mary the mother of Jesus, treasure up all these things, pondering them in our hearts.