What is an anniversary for, anyway?

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Rev. Walter Klockers

What is an anniversary? It is the day you remember something that happened a year or more ago.

What kind of anniversaries come to mind for you? The obvious — the date of your birth. If you are or were married, the day you exchanged vows. The year you graduated from high school or college is one more key event.

In religious circles, important anniversaries might include dates for baptism, confirmation or in some cases, ordination. As a Christian, I also observe Easter and Christmas as well as other special times on the sacred calendar.

For a business, it is the day the doors were first opened, when significant changes were made, such as the expansion of facilities or product line, a relocation, or change in ownership.

There are also somber anniversaries such as Memorial Day, 9/11, or the passing of a loved one.

Here’s a rather strange thing to ponder — what would it be like if we had no anniversaries?

What kind of world would we have if no one kept track of their own age or the age of others?

Would you feel secure investing funds in a financial institution when you had no earthly idea how long they’ve been in business?

How odd would it be to have no three-day weekends on the calendar?

Why do we have anniversaries? Why do we mark time in such a manner? The obvious answer is because they help us remember, appreciate the past, and value the present day.

As such they serve as a good barometer for measuring change. I would venture to guess that most anniversaries represent some degree of change. The greater the span of years the greater the amount of change – either to the principals themselves or the surrounding environment.

One thing that does not change though is the love of God for you no matter how many years have passed.

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.

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