One of the challenges that gets repeated at least 24 times in the book of Deuteronomy is, “REMEMBER.”
In other words, “Don’t FORGET…that the Lord rescued you from Egypt…” (Dt 4:20; 5:15)
“Don’t FORGET that…the Lord is God both in heaven and earth…”
“REMEMBER what the Lord your God did…” (Dt 7:18-19)
“REMEMBER how the Lord your God led you…” (Dt 8:2)
“REMEMBER that the Lord your God is the one who gives you power to be successful…” (Dt 8:18)
At least 24 times, as the people of God stood on the precipice of the land of promise, God challenged them to REMEMBER. To NOT FORGET…
Because FORGETFULNESS is so easy…
You don’t have to work at it. It just happens. Life comes so hard, fast + furious, that we FORGET moments that should MARK US, MOLD US + SHAPE US for the rest of our lives…
So, God says, “Don’t forget to REMEMBER.”
REMEMBERING is what Memorial Day is all about. The word “memory” is part of the name.
MEMORIAL DAY is more than a day for family, friends, rest, relaxtion + outdoor barbecues. It’s a day set aside to REMEMBER the courage, devotion, loyalty, conviction + sacrifice given so that we can enjoy the FREEDOM we now enjoy.
It’s an opportunity to REFLECT on + REMEMBER our past,
so we can RENEW + REDEDICATE ourselves in the present.
So, today, as you spend time with FAMILY + FRIENDS, ENJOY IT! Eat some great barbecue! Eat burger + hotdog! Drink a big glass of iced tea. Do a cannonball into the pool or lake. Laugh until it hurts.
But then, at some point, REMEMBER.
Blood was shed. Lives were sacrificed. For this. For FREEDOM.
Take a moment to THANK GOD for every man + woman who willingly served + sacrificially died for this… For you… For me… For us… For this country… For our FREEDOM.
But don’t stop there…
Take another moment to REMEMBER that every sacrifice given points to the GREATEST SACRIFICE of all! The sacrifice of JESUS who died for our sins + in our place.
He willingly became SIN so we could become RIGHTEOUS.
He was pierced + wounded so we could become HEALED + WHOLE.
He DIED so we could LIVE!
Jesus knew that FORGETTING was very real possibility, so the night before He died He gave us an object lesson to help us REMEMBER.
For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. —1 Cor 11:23-26 NLT
Through the sacrament of HOLY COMMUNION, Jesus gave us a GIFT to help us REMEMBER. He took bread + wine, looked at his closest friends + basically said, “Don’t forget me. I know you said you wouldn’t, but I also know you better than you know yourselves.
“Don’t forget who I am.
“Don’t forget my character.
“Don’t forget my promises.
“Don’t forget the revelation of my power you’ve seen demonstrated over the past 3+ years.
“Don’t forget how much you matter to me.
“Don’t forget the depth of my love.
“Don’t forget all that I’ve done.
“Don’t forget all that I will continue to do…
“Don’t forget me…
“To help you REMEMBER, whenever you receive Holy Communion, take a piece of broken bread + remember my broken body. Take a cup wine + remember my shed blood. Never forget the price I paid for YOU!”
“REMEMBERING my faithfulness to you in the past will give you strength, power + faith to live in the present. So, whatever you do, DON’T FORGET all that I’ve done!”
This Memorial Day is a great opportunity to REMEMBER…
To remember…all of those who gave their lives for our freedom.
To remember…the Savior who willingly died in our place + for our sins so that we could live saved, healed, delivered, set free, Spirit-filled + with the hope of forever after.
Take time today to REMEMBER.
DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER.