One told me they do not discuss experiences, only locations and units. At a dinner with two Vietnam veterans, I listened to their guarded discussion. The other veteran said he still sleeps very little at night even though it has been 40 years since Vietnam.
Our beloved veterans carry painful memories that burn too hot to put into words. I have great appreciation for those who served our nation. My heart goes out to those who grieve for the loved ones who gave their lives.
Having just observed Memorial Day, we realize how powerful our memories are. Memories, both positive and negative, impact who we are today.
During the Vietnam era I got a draft card, watched the news reports, and saw the great unrest in our nation. The United States pulled out of Vietnam just before my eighteenth birthday.
When Jesus gave us the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, he said, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”
Many hoped he was the great Rescuer who God had promised. But authorities crucified Jesus on Friday, grief and gloom overshadowed His followers that Saturday, and Sunday gave rumors of grave-robbers.
Two disciples walked home that first Easter remembering the heartbreaking events. A stranger joined them on the road. He asked them what they were discussing. They were amazed he had not heard of the incredible events of the past three days.
Arriving at their home in Emmaus, they invited the stranger to share a meal. At table the guest broke bread and served them. Suddenly they realize it is the risen Jesus!
One disciple said, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32
The memory burned within them. That “we-should-have-known” feeling struck them hard.
The table in a Jewish home is a sacred place. It is a place of trust, forgiveness, and peace. The risen Savior sat at their table! What a sacred moment!
Also it was an eye-opening moment. “Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.” (Luke 24:31) The first act of eating in the Bible is Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit. Instantly the curse of sin, sorrow, and broken relationship ensued.
But at Emmaus, at the first post-resurrection act of eating, eyes are opened to the fact that the curse is broken, new life is possible, death is conquered, and forgiveness is a reality!
Oh, let the memory of Christ’s sacrifice burn within you!