Celebrate and Remember
“This day is to be a memorial for you, and you must celebrate it as a festival to the Lord. You are to celebrate it throughout your generations as a permanent statute.” Exodus 12:14
Over a million people gathered to mark the historic event that took place in our nation’s capitol on Tuesday, January 20, 2009. The inauguration of Barack Obama, our country’s first black president. Those who made the trek to Washington came for varied reasons, but most expressed a desire to witness something that would be remembered for generations. They simply wanted to be there, to celebrate, and to gather memories they could share.
Since Tuesday, I’ve watched many television interviews, read reports in the paper, and noted that most of those who attended the ceremony brought back tangible souvenirs—t-shirts, hats, pins and so on—or saved newspaper headlines to commemorate the day. It was a noteworthy moment in time. A day that will be remembered to children and grandchildren and held dear in the hearts of those who were there for the rest their lives.
As significant as this day was, I can’t help acknowledging the greater meaning of the spiritual works that God has done in our lives. And I wonder if I am doing as much in celebrating these events and passing them on to others as those who attended Tuesday’s ceremony will. I’m afraid not. And remembering God’s works matters. It matters first of all to God. He tells us to remember what He has done and commands us to teach this spiritual history to our children and grandchildren. That was the purpose of the festivals He instituted—to remind the people of His salvation, to allow them to celebrate the power of their God, and to teach their children to worship Him.
Commemorating God’s works also matters in our daily walks as believers. Without our memories of the ways God has worked in the past, each challenge we face can seem insurmountable. How will we manage this time? Who can get us through this illness or this recession or this broken relationship? But when we look at what our God can do and has done—in scripture and in the history of our own lives—we know that nothing is too hard for God. What He has done for us in the past, He is ready and willing to do for us today.
And finally, recounting God’s works matters to those around us. When we celebrate by giving Him due credit for our victories, our strength, our faith, and our purpose, we glorify Him and cause others to recognize His role as Lord in our lives as well as theirs. Our victories point others to Him.
What has God done in your life? How has living for Him made a difference? Have you told anyone lately? You may not have a t-shirt or a pin to mark the occasions of His good works, but you do have a changed life to show as a souvenir. Come on. Let’s remember what God has done, celebrate His good works, and tell somebody else all about Him. It’s a memorial that matters to us all. One that can truly change the world.
Father, You have saved me, empowered me, seen me through sadness, and presented me cause for rejoicing. Give me opportunities to tell of Your good works and use my life to draw others nearer to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
[By Lisa Huddleston]
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