In Deuteronomy, when Moses is teaching the laws of God, he exhorts them to remember all the things that they have seen in their travels through the wilderness, to remember the years of slavery in Egypt, and remember how God brought them out of Egypt and through the wilderness to a new land, their promised land.
In my family, I am the one who passes on the stories of my grandparents and my great grandparents and even of my great-great grandparents. The stories are important because we need to remember that God was with us always, strengthening the weak and championing those who were helpless. We need to tell the stories to our children and our grandchildren so that they will remember. I need to tell of the Civil Rights struggle in the United States because that is what I experienced. I need to tell about what it was like to join the church in the middle of the second Vatican Council. Some of my stories are sad and some of them are glorious, but there is something to be learned from all of them. We cannot learn from these experiences if we do not remember them. Our children and grandchildren need to know the truth about the past if they are to live in a better world. They need to know the truth and learn from it in order to live in the Kingdom of God, which is our promised land.
Reflected by Sharon Sullivan