Where Were You...
when the world stopped turnin'
That September day?
Teachin' a class full of innocent children
Or drivin' down some cold interstate?
It was a quiet Tuesday morning. I was a second year teacher. I had first period plan, so I was in my room preparing for the day. Then a fellow teacher poked his head in.
“Haven’t you heard yet?” he asked with a sound of surprise.
“Heard what?” I responded.
He moved his way to my TV and turned it on to the local news… and that is how I found out. We were under attack.
September 11, 2001.
I remember trying to get through the day, teaching, and comforting. Letting the students know what was going on, and yet trying to shelter them from the harshness of what was going on. I got home that night, and discovered that my wife had an even tougher day than me. Her best friend since she was little, Rebecca, was a resident of New York at the time and was supposed to be traveling that day. She didn’t find out that Rebecca was safe until later in the afternoon when her school secretary came to her classroom door with the news that Rebecca had traveled by train instead of plane that day.
It’s a day I will never forget, and yet… when we were on our trip to New York City this summer, the 9-11 Memorial was one place we didn’t plan to go see. We just didn’t want to fight through those feelings again. Thank goodness our tour guide, Ibrahima, was so convincing.
He mentioned that this might be the only time our kids might get to see this place, and as educators, how could we pass up the chance to teach them the importance of what happened. So we added it to our schedule, and we are so glad we did.
GOD is a GOD of remembering also. HE was always about signs and wonders so the we will remember who HE is, and what HE has done for us. The temple, the ark, altars in the wilderness, renaming places, and the LORD’s supper, all created so that we would remember HIM, and HIS amazing power. Here are a few of my favorite verses dealing with remembering who GOD is.
1. The Rainbow
Noah was so happy to have been saved from the flood, that he built an alter and sacrificed to the LORD. The LORD was pleased, and decided that he would never destroy the Earth with a flood again. The LORD then made the rainbow so that all would remember.
And GOD said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between ME and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all future generations: I have placed MY bow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between ME and the earth. Whenever I form clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I will remember ME covenant between ME and you and all the living creatures: water will never again become a flood to destroy every creature. The bow will be in the clouds, and I will look at it and remember the everlasting covenant between GOD and all the living creatures on earth.”
2. Crossing the Jordan
As Joshua was about to cross into the promised land, they had to cross the Jordan River. The ARK of the LORD was used to stop the flowing water so that all of Israel could pass on dry land. As they passed through, one man from each tribe took a rock from the riverbed, and carried it out.
The people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and camped at Gilgal on the eastern limits of Jericho. Then Joshua set up in Gilgal the 12 stones they had taken from the Jordan, and he said to the Israelites, “In the future, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What is the meaning of these stones?’ you should tell your children, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your GOD dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, just as the LORD your GOD did to the Red Sea, which HE dried up before us until we had crossed over. This is so that all the people of the earth may know that the LORD’s hand is mighty, and so that you may always fear the LORD your GOD.”
3. The Last Supper
JESUS, the night before he was going to be crucified, shared The Last Supper with HIS disciples. Wanting those with HIM to remember all that HE did, and was going to do, HE set up what we now call communion. The breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup so that we will remember HIS sacrifice.
When the hour came, HE reclined at the table, and the apostles with HIM. Then HE said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of GOD.” Then HE took a cup, and after giving thanks, HE said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of GOD comes.” And HE took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is MY body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of ME.”
Remembering the significant events of the past is important. We need to make sure we never forget what happened on September 11, 2001. We need to remember and be diligent so it won’t happen again. We need to remember so that we can live each day in a way that if it is our last, we didn’t leave things undone, or unsaid. We have a duty to remember. How did George Santayana put it… "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
We also need to remember the sacrifice that CHRIST made for us. Dying on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins must be remembered. We need to remember it so that we live each day in a way that will show others the importance of CHRIST to us. We need to remember it so that we can be examples, and lead them to HIM.
WE NEED TO REMEMBER…