My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments.
It has not been all that long ago that Americans were stunned by what came to be known as 9/11. Hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. Thousands of Americans died and the entire population was shaken. In recent days, several major newspapers have carried editorials calling for us to “just let it go,” that is, get over the tragedy. Stop talking about it. Stop remembering.
What calloused and cold editorials! One of the writers informed us, “Grief has its limits.” Oh, really? Tell that to the family of the victims.
People somehow have the propensity to forget. Here is a classic example: On September 1, 1923, one of the most devastating earthquakes in history rocked Japan. In the city of Yokohama alone, over a hundred thousand people either died or were severely injured or maimed. Out of this inferno of human tragedy came a frantic plea to America for assistance. Our nation responded by sending entire fleets of supplies and food to that devastated nation. Japan’s emperor cabled our President with this promise: “America, we will not forget.” Just 18 years later, the Pacific sky over Pearl Harbor was buzzing with Japanese war planes bombing and strafing our Navy forces. It was a horrendous and savage attack, completely unprovoked. Japan….had forgotten.
The night before our Lord Jesus was crucified, He asked His followers to observe communion, breaking the bread as His body would soon be broken, and drinking the cup symbolizing His shed blood. “This do in remembrance of Me,” He asked. We must never forget the horrors of Calvary. The concerns of ordinary life can cause the memories of Golgotha to fade from our conscious awareness. This must not happen! “Lest I forget Gethsemane; lest I forget Thine agony; lest I forget Thy love for me; lead me to Calvary.”
Prayer: O God, so great was the eternal trauma of that day Christ died that the sun turned away. How it must cause pain in Your heart when You see humanity spurn the very sacrifice that cost You so much. We will always and ever keep Calvary before us, as well as the empty and open tomb. And with our remembering will come the deepest and most heart-felt thanksgiving for Your great love. Amen.