“Remember the Alamo!” If you’re from Texas those words stir up within your spirit something that is deep and emotional. Texas was struggling for independence from Mexico and the Texans found themselves under siege at the Alamo (originally a Catholic Mission). After 13 days a final assault on the fortress resulted in all of the defenders being killed (March 6, 1836). Davy Crockett was one of the casualties.

It didn’t take long for “Remember the Alamo” to become a battle cry. Why remember a tragic event like this? I think the answer is twofold. First, you want to honour those who gave their lives defending freedom and second, you want to be ready so that it never happens again.

In churches all over the world, the words “The body of Christ” and “The blood of Christ” are heard each week (in some traditions) during a remembrance service called The Eucharist or The Lord’s Supper. The ceremony and words help us remember that Jesus willingly gave up his life, the innocent for the guilty. In fact, Jesus asked that we remember what he did in this way until he returns again!

On one occasion, after Jesus’ death, he appeared to his disciples. Thomas was absent. When Thomas was with them later on, the other disciples told him that they had seen Jesus alive! He didn’t believe them but exclaimed boldly, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). Just as he finished his speech Jesus appeared again and invited Thomas to do just that! Wouldn’t that have been a life-changing moment?

Here’s the thing. Even though Jesus was alive the scars remained on his body after his resurrection. In eternity these scars will serve as a constant reminder as to what our redemption cost the Son of God.

Why do we come to the Lord’s Table and partake of the bread and wine? First, it’s to honour the one who gave his life for us, the innocent for the guilty. Second, it’s to remember that our enemy has been defeated. When we receive Jesus’ sacrifice by faith we have nothing more to fear.

I read some stories written by Canadians about their loved one’s who had served our country in times of war. One individual shared in a very personal way about his father.

“The man who came home from the war was not the one who enlisted. The man who came home had become a violent alcoholic, quick to take offence and to hold grudges. The war, what he’d had to do, and what he’d seen in it, destroyed him.”

My heart goes out to this son! What he saw in his father was the emotional scarring of war. These scars, for many who had been there, never disappear.

Remembrance Day is on a Sunday this year. Some churches have cancelled their service so that people are free to attend the public Remembrance. Other churches, like ours, will incorporate a time of remembrance within our regular worship service. I encourage you to attend one of these services in honour of those who have sacrificed so much. Also, pray that it never happens again.