Today: Psalms 44:1-12; Luke 13:31-35; Luke 14:1-14; Deuteronomy 15; Deuteronomy 16:1-20
“God we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us the work that You did in their days, in the days of old.” Psalms 44:1
God wants us to REMEMBER His miracles. He wants us to remember the great ways He has worked in our lives. Much time is given in the Old Testament to remembering all the miracles God did for the Israelites. He instructed them to erect memorials and observe His works with many annual celebrations. Today we take Holy Communion “in remembrance” of Christ’s sacrifice.
God knows that our tendency is to forget, so He makes a big deal out of doing things to help us REMEMBER all that He has done.
God did something interesting years ago when I was on a mission trip. It was almost over and we were enjoying the final two days resting on a little island in Belize. Our small group had worked hard the previous week, painting houses, helping build a church, working with the children outside in the humid heat. We were all hot and tired but it had been an amazing week.
We were meeting together on the beach in the evening to reflect on our week. At the end of the meeting, our pastor had all of us walk out onto a large wooden dock over the ocean. He told us to lie on our backs on the dock and just gaze up at the sky. It was a beautiful clear night and the stars were shining brightly.
Just then the largest, most fantastic falling star I have ever seen shot across the sky. It had a long sparkling trail streaming far behind it. I’ve never seen such a sight before or after. We all gasped simultaneously in amazement.
The pastor had no idea that was going to happen. It was God’s gift just to our little group. WOW, what a beautiful sign from God! I think He was reassuring us that He was there with us and had seen our hard work.
Over the years since then, I have often heard God whisper into my ear, “Remember the falling star…”
Luke 13 – Jerusalem
Jesus had great courage. The human part of Him must have felt great dread and perhaps even fear about His impending crucifixion. He knew that Jerusalem meant His death, yet He resolutely kept journeying toward that fateful city, “for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside Jerusalem.” (v.33)
His feelings for Jerusalem must have been complex. He loved it so with all the love of God’s heart… Jerusalem, the heartland of God’s chosen ones, the home of His Holy tabernacle. He loved its inhabitants as a father loves his children, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her young under her wings…” (v.34)
But Jerusalem was “unwilling” to accept God’s love. It was “the city that kills the prophets and stones those who have been sent to her!” (v.34) And Jesus knew that they would soon kill Him as well. How it must have broken His heart.
“Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night.” Deuteronomy 16:1
God instructed the Israelites to observe many celebrations and feast days throughout the year to commemorate all the great miracles He had done for them. It is important to observe and remember the amazing things God has done for us as well. This is why we celebrate Easter and Christmas. But it is so easy to forget, to let Easter become just a day for food, candy and egg hunts… and Christmas just about Santa and gifts. It is us to us to consciously remember God’s most amazing gift to us — Jesus Christ.