Summary: There are special days & times in the Bible designed to help us remember specific events. I want to call your attention to 3 of them & see how God uses them to jog our memories. (Powerpoint available - #136)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #136.)
A. What do you think of when you think of Memorial Day - the beginning of summer vacation, barbecues in the back yard, family get-togethers?
In most churches Memorial Day is ignored because it is not one of the holy days on the church calendar. But I believe that it would be good for us to consider what Memorial Day really represents, for its very name calls us to remember.
The ability to remember is a wonderful gift God has given us. In a flash we can be a child again, skipping rocks across a pond, or walking in a meadow. Through memory we can fall in love, get married, & enjoy our children all over again. All this is possible through the blessing of memory.
Some of our memories are happy as we recall wonderful experiences. But some are sad, & we may weep as we remember them.
Memories are also very practical. If we couldn’t remember that a red light means “stop” we’d be in trouble. If you weren’t able to remember what day it is, or your anniversary or wife’s birthday – you’d be in big trouble. So memories are practical.
B. The problem, though, is that sometimes memory fails us. Sometimes we forget.
ILL. Maybe you have heard about a guy named John who had a serious memory problem. One day John ran into a friend he had not seen in a long time. He greeted him & said, “Bill, do you remember what a bad memory I had?”
Bill answered, “Yes, I certainly do.” “Well, it’s not bad any more. I went to a seminar that taught us how to remember things. It was great, & now I have a wonderful memory.”
Bill answered, “That’s great! What was the name of the seminar?” “Well,” John said, “wait a minute, my wife went with me. I’ll ask her.” He turned & saw his wife nearby.
Then he turned back to Bill & said, “What’s the name of that flower with a long stem & thorns & a red bloom?” “Do you mean a rose?” Bill answered. “Yeah, thanks,” John said. “Hey, Rose, what’s the name of that seminar we attended?”
There are events that we should never forget. And Memorial Day commemorates some of them.
This special day started near the end of the Civil War. And within a few years the practice of placing flowers on military graves had spread throughout both the north & south & was being called by almost everyone, “Decoration Day.”
Then, after WW1 it became a national holiday dedicated to remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms that we enjoy.
And it is also a day upon which we remember our loved ones who have gone on before.
C. But people tend to be forgetful, & we seem to need helps to jog our memories. In the Bible we find that God has given us many such reminders.
After God destroyed the earth in a flood, He told Noah, “I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11)
Then God stated, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, & it will be the sign of the covenant between me & the earth.” (Genesis 9:13) So every time we see a rainbow, it serves as a reminder of God’s promise.
Another memorial was erected when Joshua led the people of Israel across the Jordan River. Remember, the water stopped flowing just as the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant stepped into the water at the river’s edge. Then they stood in the middle of the river until the people had crossed safely into the Promised Land.
While they were crossing, Joshua told 12 men, one from each of the 12 tribes, to go into the middle of the riverbed & select 12 large stones. They brought those stones up onto the riverbank & made a monument out of them there.
In Joshua 4:6-7 Joshua tells them, “In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord.
“When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
PROP. There are special days & times in the Bible designed to help us remember specific events. I want to call your attention to 3 of them this morning. You know the stories behind each one, but listen again & see how God uses them to jog our memories & help us remember important things.