Page 254 has been a laid back Saturday, which is always good after a long Friday. 🙂 I was able to sleep in a little bit compared to my usual weekday wake up time, but was still up earlier than what I like to call “sleeping in”. The rain that began last night continued into the morning, then reappeared mid-day before giving way to fall-like temperatures and blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds. With today’s photo being one I took yesterday at Potato Creek which is beginning to show some of the colors of fall, it is only fitting that today begins to feel like it.
Some of the morning was spent thinking about the events of 9/11/01 as tomorrow marks the fifteenth anniversary of what we simply call 9/11. For most of us who were alive fifteen years ago, simply mentioning that date brings back a lot of memories and images which have been etched into our minds. For most, the twin towers of the World Trade Center is the primary image that comes to mind as the loss and devastation of the attack was much more catastrophic and unbelievable in size compared to the attack at the Pentagon and the plane brought down in Pennsylvania. Out of that reflection, I wrote a “bonus page” which I posted this morning. Once I had written and posted that page, it was time to fire up the pellet grill and get the bacon cheeseburgers started for lunch. After lunch I started going through photos from the past 12 months as I’m working at putting together a photo calendar for next year. I didn’t get very far in narrowing down what I want to use, but I did decide that choosing the photos for the calendar will probably be the most difficult part of the project. After supper I watched a movie with my family and now it’s time to write out today’s page before calling it a day.
On my mind a lot this afternoon has been the two phrases, “Always Remember” and “Never Forget”. I’ve seen them a lot the past few days, and even more so today, in reference to the events of 9/11/01. As I’ve thought about those phrases today, some questions come to my mind. Always remember what? Never forget what? I suspect if I were to ask each person that I see posting one or both of those phrases, I would get as many answers as the number of people I would question. I’m sure some of the answers would have similarity, but I imagine many would be rather vague about what they’re remembering or not forgetting. Some of the answers would depend on who you are and what you most identify with from that day. As I wrote about in more detail this morning, I fear that while we’ve held on to some memories and chosen not to forget them, it appears to me that many people did forget the most important memory of all — our need to cry out to God and draw into His presence.
But that fact is not just true about the tragic events of 9/11, is it? When we find ourselves in need and cry out to God, we promise to always remember Him and what He has done. But do we? In the midst of great loss that God carries us through, we promise to never forget His love and mercy. But do we? If we’re not careful, even the memorials that are set up to help us remember become things of routine and soon lose their meaning to us. Often that comes about because we begin to focus solely on the memorial rather than using the memorial to help us focus on the event it was designed to help us remember. I am thankful to be a part of a church family which observes the Lord’s Supper every week. I know there are some people who say that is not practical or that doing so each week causes the practice to lose its meaning. While I understand what they are saying, my response is the same — if you focus on the event it is meant to help you remember rather than on the memorial itself, it will never become old, common-place, or too frequent. When I take communion, I don’t focus on the communion service itself. I use it as a reminder to focus on a God who loves me so much that His Son endured the breaking of His body and the pouring out of His blood in order to pay the penalty for my sin. When I keep my focus on Jesus and His sacrifice, I never tire of gathering around the Lord’s Table. In a technical sense, it is not important that I always remember or never forget the Lord’s Supper. What is important is that I always remember and never forget His love and mercy demonstrated toward me at the cross and that is what the memorial each week points me to.
I pray that you and I would look beyond the memorials that we see and use them to actually remember what they memorialize. I pray that we would use the memorial of the Lord’s Supper to help us always remember and never forget what God has done so that we can be called His children. I pray that we would hold on to the love and mercy that God extended to us on the cross and be ones who will share that love and mercy with the world.