When I was a girl, my Grandma Eckstine would often give me a palm leaf in the shape of a cross from her church on Palm Sunday. Grandma Eckstine is the person who comes to mind first when I think of spiritual heritage. She lived her life with great faith and passed that faith on to a very long line of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. As Palm Sunday approached this year, my mind kept going back to that cross-shaped palm leaf grandma would give me as a girl.
Nowadays, my family goes to a non-denominational church that celebrates the major Christian holidays like Easter and Christmas, but many events on the traditional church calendar are not directly celebrated. In other words, we will have a big Easter or Christmas service, but many people in the congregation have probably ever heard of Maundy Thursday. I had not heard of many of the church holidays myself until I was reading A Homemade Year by Jerusalem Jackson Greer about a year ago. My grandma, on the other hand, faithfully attended a Lutheran church where Palm Sunday was a regularly observed part of the church year.
Anyway, back to the palm leaf. It was really on my mind this year. I knew my family would be travelling to take my son on a special Easter Bunny train ride. As our family took off on our road trip toward the bunny train, I prayed that God would bring us to a church where we could celebrate Palm Sunday in a more traditional way this year. Deep down, I really wanted my son hold a palm leaf in his little hands. The further we drove down the road, the more that it seemed like our timing was not going to be right in order to go to a service anywhere and still make it to the train in time.
I did some Googling and praying as we went down the road, and our family parked outside a United Methodist church in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, with literally no time to spare. We walked in and sat in the back row. I hoped my son would be quiet in this traditional service. As the service unfolded, sure enough, my son walked back to our pew with a palm leaf that I later folded into the shape of a cross. The entire service was beautiful. It really got our family into the mindset of the Easter season. Walking out of the church where we didn’t know a single soul, I smiled and silently thanked God for bringing us to such a lovely, meaningful service.
To commemorate that memory, along with the memory of my grandma giving me palm leaf crosses as a girl, I created a page in my Journaling Bible. Everything is attached with clear tape and washi tape so that it can be folded up and away from the words on the page. I can still read every word underneath. Plus, now I will have a page to remind me of Palm Sunday 2018. After creating this page, I am already thinking about other spiritual memories that I would like to commemorate in my Journaling Bible as well. When it comes to spiritual memories, I think it is important to write things down and memory-keep because we really do tend to forget.
A Bible Passage About Remembering . . .
Joshua 4:4-7 4So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
Bible Journaling Challenge: Do you have a spiritual memory that you could commemorate in your Journaling Bible? For my memory-keeping page, I included the dried palm leaf that I folded into a cross and parts of that day’s church bulletin that I cut out and painted with simple watercolors.
Have a wonderful week! 🙂