Traditionally, Filipinos would go back to their hometowns or to places where their loved ones are buried every November 1. This year 2017 the Philippine government added October 31 as a special non-working day. The purpose, according to the Presidential Proclamation No. 50, is give more time for the traditional All Saints Day commemorative activities, to promote domestic tourism and to strengthen family ties.
November 1 should always be a time to remember. The Hebrew word for remember is “Zakar.” It means to become a member again. So, when we remember the life and legacies of our dear departed loved ones, they become a member again of our community.
The writer of Hebrews 11 remembers the stories of many people in the Bible like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthah, David, Samuel and the prophets. This chapter is teaching us two things:
First, let us remember the story by retelling the story to our community.
We can only retell the stories if we know the stories. Let us read the Bible and learn the stories of people there. Find time to retell the stories in the Bible to the next generation.
This is the same with our family. Those who are older have the responsibility to retell the stories of their family. The younger generation must also learn how to listen to stories, and be interested with the history of their families.
Second, let us remember the story by making their stories a part of our own story now.
We do not only retell the stories but more importantly, we must learn lessons from the Biblical stories.
What is the story of Abraham teaches us? What lessons can we learn from Moses? David? Jesus? And so on. The way Jesus taught the Parables is a good paradigm to follow — tell the story, ask questions, elicit discussion and impart the lessons.
May we continue to find time to retell stories and learn from them.