Reminded to Remember

Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord alone.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
With all your soul, and with all your might.
Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart.
Recite them to your children, and talk about them
When you are at home and when you are away,
When you lie down and when you rise.
Bind them as a sign on your hand,
Fix them as an emblem on your forehead.
And write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (New Revised Standard Version)

For the past few weeks, every form of news media has reminded us to remember. As the tenth anniversary of terrorist attacks on the United States nears, conversation steers toward the question of, "Where were you on September 11, 2001?" Some of remember vividly who our companions were and what we were doing when we heard. As I prepared the sermon for this upcoming Sunday, I suddenly realized that the oldest children in our congregation are ten years old. They were infants on September 11, 2001, who have no recollection of that day. How do we explain this significant event in history to someone who wasn't there?

The same question is raised for other events in history: the attack on Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the first steps on the moon, to name a few, Those of us who were not yet alive or too young to remember depend on the stories of our elders to teach us.

In the above passage, the Lord bestows a responsibility upon the Israelites. They are commanded to remember and to teach what they remember to younger generations. How often do we find ourselves saying, "Oops! I forgot!" in reference to something vitally important? Many relationships have faltered and failed in our lack of being able to remember what someone we love asked us to do. One of the most painful blows to the human soul is to feel forgotten by someone we love. Yet, throughout history, we find ourselves forgetting God's goodness. We forget God's love. God's Word reminds us, along with the Israelites, that we are called to remember.

This upcoming weekend, there will be an outpouring of remembrance about one day, and it is right for us to do so. But let us also remember as September 11 falls on a Sunday, that we are also called to remember the God who brought us through that one day of history as well as many more. Let's not only teach our children about the "events" of September 11th but also of the God who walks with us through life's events. Will you take the time not to forget about the God who loves you mightily? And will you not forget to love him with heart, soul, and might?

grace, peace, love, and all good things to each of you--
Pastor Darian