Can I be honest with you? I’m sure that I can.
I kind of hate reading the Old Testament. I know, I know, it’s all God’s word and I’m supposed to devour every single letter.
But the fact remains I am so culturally removed from the original writing of these words I know that so much of it is lost on me. When the temple and all the treasures are being described or the seemingly endless genealogies are going on…and on…and on… Or the different descriptions of sacrifices and who gave which offering at such and such an amount. And then there’s the different types of offerings (grains, absolutions, etc.) It all goes right over my head and quite frankly I find it all…well…boring at best, completely irrelevant at worst.
Pray for me, maybe I’ll get better. At least I’m honest.
The pattern I noticed was every time God stepped in to save His people He would command them to do something in order to remember it. Whether it was to build a memorial or create a specific yearly festival there was always some activity to remember what happened.
Why did He do this?
I’m glad you asked. It’s because we all have terrible memories. It’s an offshoot of living a linear experience. We only live in the now. We don’t have anything else available to us. Simply the now.
Ever since I've moved to Illinois I've noticed the pattern in my own life. The summers are so great here that you completely forget the long hard cold winters. And the winters are so brutal here you forget everything. Everything is cold, frozen and bitter. All the trees look dead. You forget that just a few months ago everything was green and growing. Everything was alive and thriving and in just a few months it will be again.
In our experiential linear reality we can only see what’s directly in front of our eyes. Life is hard. I hate my job. I’m struggling financially. It feels like God has forgotten me.
…It feels like God has forgotten me…
This is why it is so important in our own lives to set up monuments. It’s important to remember those traditions that say “remember”.
Remember when God came through for you. Remember when that unexpected check came in the mail and it totally met all of your needs and then some. Remember when you were so full of life and joy that you felt like you were about to burst.
Remember when everything was green and growing…it will be again.
Winters can be long. They can be dark and feel like they last forever. But they will end.
Every winter has its end. Spring will come again if you can last through these bitter cold months. The sun will rise on you again just as it has in the past.
You just need to remember.