“6 Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. 7 There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.” Genesis 35:6-7 NIV
“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.” Exodus 12:14 (on Passover)
“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’” Luke 22:19 NIV
Dear Church Family,
Well, we missed it. Actually, we missed them. It’s my fault. I should have been more diligent. We missed both National Shrimp Scampi Day and National Zipper Day, both on April 29. As it turns out, the patent for the modern zipper was issued on April 29, 1913 (I have no idea why April 29 is the shrimp day). How could we let something as important to modern life as the invention of the zipper go unmentioned. I trust you all had some kind of memorial in your homes. April 29 was also National Peace Rose Day and National Poem in Your Pocket Day, but those are just silly.
The Bible, as you know, is full of memorials. There are days, feasts, altars, etc., primarily to help us remember the great things God has done for us in the past. God often had people set up altars, or establish annual events, as “mnemonic devices”—tools that help his people remember. Those things are needed partially because the human mind is finite, but also because it is sinful. Our finite minds sometimes have too much to remember, and we forget things. On the other hand, there are things we should never forget, such as the sacrifice of Christ for our sins. That’s why we celebrated the Lord’s Supper just this past Sunday.
Forgetfulness of God is an interesting way to think of sin. Sometimes, of course, humans live in open rebellion—they knowingly and intentionally reject God’s ways and refuse to acknowledge him. At other times, however, it’s more subtle. We don’t necessarily deny him; we just forget him. I think that is what is behind James 4:13-17, where James talks about people making plans in their lives without acknowledging that God’s will is over all human plans. If you want to take a minute to read that passage, I’ll wait.
I’ve been talking with several pastors lately. We all agree that one of the greatest dangers of the pandemic, at least from a spiritual perspective, is that people can get out of the habit of Christian fellowship and corporate worship. God has placed these events in our lives to help us remember to honor him, to help us remember to seek his guidance and his presence in our lives. The consequences for missing National Zipper Day are not too severe, but forgetting God in your life can affect you through eternity. What do you do on a daily basis to help you remember Him?