On Sunday mornings, we've been looking at what life looks like as a disciples of Jesus Christ. As we regularly break it down, Jesus gave us three commands: Love God, Love Each Other, and Spread the Word. The actual third command that we've simplified there is from the end of Matthew's Gospel. This is known as the Great Commission: "Go into all the world, making disciples of all nations..." Jesus asked us to make disciples, but for that to happen, we need to be disciples.
We've looked at prayer, study, Christian action as aspects of discipleship. Yesterday, quite timely, we looked at memory.
Memory is a funny thing! What is memory? How do we remember? Why do we remember? Here's a fun thought experiment: without memory, would music exist? You need to be able to remember the notes already played in order to put a melody together, otherwise, you hear a string of notes that don't seem to have anything to do with one another.
When we learn something, it gets stuck in our brains somehow. There are plenty of things we'll hear, but not learn. Anyone remember what they had for dinner 3 years ago today? We certainly lived through that experience, but will likely struggle to recall what made up that meal!
Well, the Bible is full of people being challenged to remember! In Joshua 4, the Israelites cross the river Jordan while it is miraculously halted, and God instructs them to collect 12 stones from the river bed, one for each tribe. That evening, when they make camp, they build these 12 stones into a memorial. In verses 6 and 7, it says, "In the future, your children will ask, 'what do these stones mean to you?' Then you can tell them, 'They remind us...'"
This pile or rocks was meant to remind the people what God had done for them. In the NKJV Bible, the word 'remember' is used in various tenses over 300 times! Remember what God has done for you.
It is Memorial Day, today, and we are remembering those who have served, given years of their lives, if not their entire lives, to protect their country. The youth group was challenged to build stone memorials, commonly called cairns, while reflecting upon the good things in our lives:
Remembering the good things that God has done in our lives, often through the people around us, will offer reassurance and comfort when we face times of difficulty. When we're unsure about the road ahead, we can turn and look behind us, and hopefully see an incredible journey that God has brought us on. Then we can take comfort that someone already knows the path ahead and we won't be walking alone.
Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to those who have given much and to those who have given everything! We remember you.
-St. Paul's and Covenant Youth (SPiCY)