Witness in Memoriam
Christopher B. Harbin
Psalm 1; John 17:6-19; Acts 1:1-8; 1 John 5:6-13
We like to hear stories. Storytelling has been one of the greatest human traditions extending as far back into time as we can imagine. Children the world over gather to hear parents and grandparents tell stories. They especially like to stories of themselves and their parents at a younger age. As adults, we like stories, as well. The Hollywood industry is, after all, simply a new venue for storytelling.
When memories fade with the passing of a generation, we revert to those storytellers who remind of us times past that are yet significant in application to our present and future. Schindler's List was published as one collection of stories of some of the millions of Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. The book was written as a reminder of what can happen when people are ignored and stepped on by others with power and a sense of moral superiority. It reminds us that greed for wealth or power is a great enough motivator to wield fear and force to subjugate a people and treat them worse than animals. It is a story which reminds us of yesteryear's tragedies in the hopes that we can avoid committing the same mistakes again and again.
Unfortunately, memories fade. Times change. We find ourselves removed from realities of the past--so far removed we may have no memories left of things gone by. The memories which linger may be woefully distorted. Perhaps we cling to nostalgic versions of a past we remember only in vague terms. Such memories are often selective. We highlight glories of the past and downplay its anguish, pain, and turmoil. We tell our stories, yet only some of them, and only certain aspects of those. As the years go by, we may rear a new generation that can go as far as to deny verifiable events of the past, as we have seen with a Roman Catholic priest recently denying the Holocaust.
To be sure, there are many stories cl ...
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