Days of remembrance

Days of remembrance

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Hebrews 13:7

Michael A. Woldt

In my home state, statutes require public schools to observe three special days in the month of February: the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12), Susan B. Anthony (Feb. 15), and George Washington (Feb. 22). Special observance days provide opportunities to remember noteworthy people who helped shape our nation.

Our Lutheran church year calendar also includes special days of remembrance called minor festivals. Minor festivals often commemorate men and women named in the Scriptures. One of the “saint” days falls in the month of February: St. Matthias, Apostle (Feb. 24). You can read about St. Matthias in Acts 1:15-26.

Remember your spiritual leaders

These minor festivals often pass without notice. No statutes require that they be observed. However, they provide valuable opportunities to recall the gracious work of our Lord. On these “saint” days, we remember how the Lord planted saving faith in the hearts of unworthy sinners and then used them as his vessels to carry the gospel to the world.

Special days help us remember important historical people of the past that have had an influence on our world and our church. The writer of Hebrews wants us to take our remembering to a more personal level. “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you.” Who are the leaders who spoke the Word of God to you?

If you were raised in a Christian home, those first “leaders” were your parents. Moms and dads who love Jesus want their children to love Jesus too. They spend time teaching their children God’s Word. Christian parents know that the biblical accounts of Noah’s ark, David and Goliath, and Jonah and the great fish are more than cute children’s tales. These are key events in the inspired record of how a gracious God deals with a fallen world. Christian parents help their children see Jesus in every page of Holy Scripture. Christian parents lead not only with words but also with their actions and attitudes. When was the last time you remembered the leaders God gave you in the home of your youth? Thank God for Christian parents!

As we remember the leaders who spoke the Word of God to us, our thoughts will naturally turn to faithful teachers and shepherds who served us in the public ministry. What a blessing to have pastors who proclaim the gospel of Christ crucified for sinners every Sunday! Perhaps you have

memories of Christian teachers or staff ministers who connected with you on a personal level when you were troubled or doubting. God provided leaders who applied biblical precepts and promises to your specific circumstances in life. Remember those leaders. Thank God for them.

Imitate their faith

As we remember our leaders, the writer of Hebrews issues a call to action: “Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” Christian leaders in the home and church have taught us by word and example that life in this present world is only temporary. Learn from those leaders. Believe like those leaders. Our future is secure, thanks be to Jesus. Our citizenship is in heaven.

Leaders like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Susan B. Anthony helped shape our nation, but Christian leaders who speak God’s Word impact lives for eternity. Take time to remember the Christian leaders in your life, with gratitude to the Lord who provided them because he loves you.

Contributing editor Michael Woldt is pastor at David’s Star, Jackson, Wisconsin.

 

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Author: Michael A. Woldt
Volume 102, Number 2
Issue: February 2015

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