Summary: Do not forget the Lord by not following his commandments. Do not forget God's faithfulness in the past. Do not forget that God is the One who gives us all we have. (Meditation for a Thanksgiving Eve Service - closes with invitation to share)
Deuteronomy is considered the farewell address of Moses to the people, and these passages are crucial to that farewell. They speak to what it means to be the recipient of God’s love. In fact, these verses could have been written for the pilgrims who originally arrived in this land.
Let’s look at what this passage has to say about forgetting and remembering.
1) Do not forget the Lord by failing to follow his commandments.
And what are those commandments?
Jesus summed it up in a way that is easy for all of us to follow. Love the Lord your God, Love your neighbor as yourself.
We cannot live faithfully in the country where God has placed us without following these to commands. If we love God and love our neighbor, we live in peace and harmony. And if we fail to love God or fail to love our neighbor, we will not live in peace and harmony. The choice is ours.
2) Do not forget that God has been faithful to us in the past.
For the Israelites, God was faithful in bringing them through the desert. The journey wasn’t easy, just as our journeys aren’t easy. But God was just as faithful in the hard times as in the good times. They went from being slaves in body and spirit to becoming ready to enter Israel and rule themselves.
This remembering of the faithfulness of the past is something we often forget to do. But it is remembering the past that helps us in the present. When we think about God’s faithful provision for the past, present, and future, I also think about the words from the hymn Amazing Grace, “Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come: 'tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”
3) Do not forget that God is the one who gave us everything we have.
Trust me, we I know a lot of people who think that they do it all themselves. You have heard the expression “a self-made man,” well it doesn’t exist. No matter how many struggles we have overcome, we didn’t do it alone. God was with us. And God does not cease to exist even if we do not believe in Him.
We replace God with a lot of things in our lives, money, possessions, fame, wealth. We think we are secure, and yet all of those things can come tumbling down. But perhaps Jesus said it best with his parable of the wise and foolish builders. If we count only on these things, we are like the foolish ones who built their house upon the sand, and when the storms came, their house fell.
And how do we build a secure life? We build our lives and hopes upon the teachings of Jesus.
As we move forward in our Thanksgiving service, I invite each of you to remember God’s faithfulness. Ask yourself where God has been faithful in your life this year. Was it in times of trouble or times of plenty? Now, let us take a few moments to express our remembrances of God in the year behind us.
At the end, I will close us with prayer.
Share a brief moment out of my own life – and invite others to do the same.