Summary: This sermon focuses upon the power of remembering
This morning our focus upon remembering and prayer. You may remember a few weeks ago on the one of the evening news shows there was a controversy. It stemmed from the desire to read the names aloud on the air of all the men and women who lost their in our war with Iraq. While most of the controversy stemmed out of political differences, the aim I believe was honorable connecting a person with a number.
This morning at the close of this message I want to offer you an opportunity to remember and to pray. Praying for the families of those who have lost- Those who lives are forever changed because of war.
This past week we were warned by our Department of Homeland Security that their was strong evidence growing that terrorists are planning a major attack this summer in the U.S.- Possibly attempting to change the results of our upcoming election. There is no doubt we are living in a scary hostile world. In the midst of these uncertain times we can walk in freedom and peace I our country because of the thousands of men and women who choose to protect us and serve us in our armed forces. Today we honor those who are presently serving, those who have served in the past, and those who have lost their lives in pursuit of our personal freedom
In light of this purpose, and this special holiday, If you are or have served I our armed forces please stand.
And yet even with a national Holiday, we are still a forgetful people. The phrase out of sight out of mind applies to us most of the time. Speaking of forgetting, I am reminded of a story of three widows who lived together. One sister got up to go to bed, half way up the stairs she stopped and asked "was I going up or was I coming down"
One sister replied with hint of aggravation, "you were going up to bed."
A second sister headed into the kitchen to make herself a sandwich. Once in the kitchen she hollered back to her sister who was still down stairs; "what did I come in here for"
The sister responded again with a trace of irritation, "you went in to make yourself a sandwich" after which she said; "I’m so glad I am not as forgetful as the both of you knock on wood. And with that she got up and walked over to the door and said "Who is it?"
Everyone forgets at one time or another, according to Karen Bolla, a John Hopkins University researcher. These are the things people most often forget;
Names . where something is . telephone numbers . words . what was said, and Faces. And speaking of memory it said that there are really only 3 kinds of memory : good, bad and convenient.
So in light of this special weekend of remembering let us take the time in this service- To remember and in remembering to thank.
Turn with me in your Bibles to Joshua chapter 4 beginning at verse four.
The context by which this passage lies is very significant. The Children of Israel had wandered in the wilderness for forty years. Moses had just died and Joshua had become the new leader. Israel found themselves back at the same place their fathers were forty years ago standing on the edge of the land God had promised to give them. Here at the shore of the Jordan River, God caused the water to part and the people to walk across into the promised Land on Dry land very reminiscent of the parting of the Red Sea. Once on the other side of the Jordan River, Joshua called for a memorial to be constructed out of the stones that lay at the bottom of the Jordan River. WHY? So that the people would never forget their God and his provisions and miracles of their behalf. So they would never forget their heritage, and their past.
In fact the Bible is filled with passages exhorting us to remember:
Remember well what the Lord your God did..." Deut. 7:18
"Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God redeemed you from there..." Deut 24:18
"Remember the wonders he has done..." Ps 105:5
"Remember this, fix it in your mind take it to heart..." Is 46:8
"Remember that in the past you were without Christ. You were not citizens of Israel, and you had no part in the agreements with the promise that God made to his people. You had no hope and you did not know God. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away from God are brought near through the blood of Christ’s death..." Ephesians 2:12,13