I’m posting this blog on September 11th, the day Americans, if not most of the world, are remembering the lives lost because of the airplanes that were hijacked by Islamic terrorists and intentionally crashed into the world trade center, the pentagon, and the one that was ditched into a field in Pennsylvania.
I am also remembering today some friends of mine who lost their 16-year-old daughter on this day in a tragic car accident.
People of my Armenian heritage remember the genocide that took place in 1915 at the hands of the Turks in the Ottoman Empire. Jewish people are committed to never forgetting what happened to 6 million of their ancestors in Nazi concentration camps before 1945.
In fact, Hitler’s justification for the annihilation of a semitic people is etched on a glass wall in Washington D.C.’s Holocaust Museum, “Who remembers the Armenians?”
One of the mysteries of life is how clearly, we can remember some people and events, yet so easily forget many others. This is one reason the Bible continually reminds us about the need to remember God’s faithfulness in the past.
We see this call to remember in the feast days and festivals God instituted for his people. For example, the Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles) was established to help everyone born in Israel remember their history. God didn’t want them to forget their slavery in Egypt or His faithfulness when they were sojourning in the wilderness. He wanted them to remember how they were delivered through his miraculous power. God wanted to be sure they would never take his blessings for granted. He wanted them to always remember him and live for him. People of faith understand the crucial importance of remembering.
These same principles are true for each of us as Christians today. God wants us to remember all that he has done for us through Christ’s sacrifice on a cross and gives us the elements of bread and the cup to serve as symbols of remembrance.
We are also to be conscious of the debt we owe to others. We should remember the saints who sacrificed their lives, parents who provided for us, teachers who taught us God’s Word, and all the other Godly men and women in the church who left us a legacy of worship, service, and sacrifice.
John Piper has said, ”Those who persevere into the glorious future are those who remember the gracious past.”
As Christian men and women who have been entrusted with the leadership of the church today, remember what you have been called to do. Today, think about the attack of 9-11. Remember the 2,977 victims and first responders who lost their lives. Remember our friends and loved ones who gone on to glory.
Remember also and always what God has done for you on a cross in 33 A.D. Remember that you have been called by God to love him and one another. Remember that Christ has commissioned you to go make disciples and he is calling you to lead his church with vision, excellence, integrity, and enthusiasm.