“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

“A forgetful heart soon becomes a foolish heart.” Rev. Karl Pike (former senior pastor at Good News Baptist Church)

Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God.’  Numbers 15:38-40 NIV

You can find the word “remember” in God’s Word more than 300 times. Usually, that kind of repetition means it’s important. And I have to believe that is the case for this particular sentiment.

There’s lots of different kinds of remembering mentioned in the Bible, but today I want to talk about just one. I’ll save my thoughts on what God remembers – and doesn’t remember – for another time. Today, I’m pondering His people’s need to remember.

Today is Memorial Day here in the United States. It’s a day to remember those who fought for our freedom. Those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the well-being of those not yet born – for our country.

I have friends who take this holiday extremely personally. They have lost someone near and dear to them in war. They do not need to be reminded to set time aside to honor the fallen. To them, I’d venture to say that every day is Memorial Day. But still, I am sure it warms their hearts to see others set the time aside to remember – even if it is only one day a year.

It seems that we, as humans, need reminders like these – physical “hints” can bring important things to mind that we might otherwise forget. The Israelites wore tassels on the corners of their garments to help them remember God’s law. They celebrated Passover to remember their deliverance from Egypt. We have countless holidays to help us remember everything from administrative professionals to fathers to our first president.

But there is Someone even more deserving of our remembrance. And everything around us and in us can be a cue to recall the sacrifice He made. He created the heavens and the earth. He gave us everything we have. He hand-crafted us – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And, when He wanted us to come close, and our sin repelled Him, He gave all that blackness to His Son, who took it upon Himself, and died on the cross to set us free from it.

I don’t need a holiday to remember He who made the ultimate sacrifice so I could be free in Christ. At least not all the time. (admit it – you act like He didn’t sometimes, dontcha?) But I’m glad there are plenty of them anyhow.

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