Lesson for the Lord’s Day

Thy Name, O Lord, endureth for ever, and Thy memorial, O Lord, throughout all generations. Psalm 135:13

As I was walking with two of my grandchildren along the road near our home, I noticed a tall, robust thistle plant, and mentioned it to the children. They had no experience with thistles before, and were interested. Hannah squealed a bit and jerked her hand back when she came in contact with the thistle’s natural protection. She asked if I ever saw thistles when I was little. Oh, the thistles that grew in the chipyard beside the house where I grew up! They grew in the garden, too, and I learned quickly to use a hoe to get rid of them instead of pulling them out by hand like I did with the other weeds. I am sure my grandfather did the same, as did his grandfather. In fact, battling thistles and muttering about their prickles has been standard practice in an unbroken chain of gardens for all time, right back to Adam. They are a memorial of Adam’s disobedience, after all. There is another memorial, not quite so old, that is also unbroken in its observance, the memorial of the Lord.

Our text speaks of a memorial that endures to all generations. This can’t refer, of course, to the thistles, because a day is coming when they will lose their prickles and this memorial of sin will be no more. It doesn’t refer to the headstones, monuments, and grave markers that litter our planet to mark the disposal of the dead. Nor does it refer to the great cathedrals and statues of Christendom. All these things will crumble and decay or burst into flame one day. But when Jesus gave bread and a cup to His disciples, and instructed them to ‘Do this in remembrance of Me’, He began a memorial that will endure for eternity. No, the bread and cup we use today are temporary and will be laid aside someday. But the worship that accompanies the partaking of these emblems now is worship that has no end. Appreciation of our Saviour and His mighty work will continue unabated as the bread and cup give way to the very presence of the One of Whom they speak.

We read in Acts of the Christians gathering on the first day of the week to break bread. And we read instruction on this ordinance in 1 Corinthians and in other books. In the centuries that followed, companies of the Lord’s people gathered in the scriptural pattern to continue the memorial. To this day, we continue the practice, as do companies all over our world, even in lands where this memorial is not allowed by the laws of man. Until our Lord comes, this memorial continues.

Thank God this memorial has endured to our generation, and will endure when our generation is in the Glory, and when the thistle’s memorial of sin is long forgotten. – Jim MacIntosh

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