Sep14TueSeptember 14, 2021
“While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho.” JOSHUA 5:10 (ESV)
DAYS TO REMEMBER
This weekend, our country remembered the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Most Americans over the age of thirty can likely remember watching the Twin Towers fall into NYC, seeing photos of first responders covered in ash and hearing various calls for prayer. Not only were many lives lost that day, but its collateral impression re-shaped many elements, ideas and policies in our country today.
It’s also important to note that this Wednesday also marks another day of remembrance, one which has Biblical foundations. It’s called the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Like 9/11, it is a solemn day. However, it’s a day to lament individual sin and seek forgiveness.
Every year, since the days of Moses, descendants of Abraham have participated in a ‘holy convocation’ (Lev. 23:27) by ceasing from work, fasting from food and abstaining from other pleasures. Before 70AD, it was also the only day in the year in which the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle sacrificial blood on the ‘seat of mercy’ for the sake of all sins (read Lev. 16). It was one of the most important days under the Old Covenant. Although the Jewish Temple was destroyed in the first century, faithful Jews still use this day as a way of seeking forgiveness from God.
Now, as Christians, we know that Jesus was both the sacrifice and the High Priest who fully atoned the sins of those who trust in Him. However, days to remember our spiritual need can be beneficial for disciples of Jesus as well.
Courageous leaders, like Joshua, saw the value in giving special attention to designed days which could be used for remembrance, prayer and seeking the Lord. For example, right after crossing the Jordan River, Joshua led God’s people in keeping the Passover.
He could have dismissed this day, like the generation before him apparently had done. After all, their enemies were shaking in fear and clearly God’s presence was already with them, as evidenced by the Jordan River miracle. The elements of the Passover would have been difficult to organize due to the size of Israel and the lack of supplies. Yet, even with these potential excuses, they took a day to intentionally remember the Lord’s mercy.
Regular habits of worshipful remembrance are woven throughout Scripture and even commanded by God. If we’re honest about our own tendencies towards forgetfulness, we’ll recognize that we need such habits in order to properly remember and celebrate God’s work in our lives and world.
Our weekly habit of gathering for worship on Sunday is an excellent way to do this. Daily Scripture reading, scheduled times of prayer and observing designed days can also strengthen our commitments to remember what God’s work.
Even though life can easily be disrupted, how are you taking time to intentionally remember and focus on God? Let’s follow Joshua’s example and form habits in order to remember God’s mercy, available to us now through Jesus.
Lord, take our moments and our days and let them flow with ceaseless praise for Your glory and our peace. Amen!