Faith: Life is worth remembering
By Tyler Warner
Calvary Chapel, Trussville
TRUSSVILLE — We just commemorated the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice. Nine million soldiers died in that war, and seven million civilians. At the time it was considered the war to end all wars, the greatest catastrophe that had ever befallen the earth, or at least Europe. Without it there would have been no World War II, no Nazis, no Soviet Union, no Holocaust. There would still be an Ottoman Empire, Churchill would never have been Prime Minister, we would never have developed the atom bomb, and Israel would not exist right now.
Despite all that, our public memory has begun to fade when it comes to the Great War. This would have been unthinkable in the 1920s and 1930s. Many in Europe had begun the process of disarmament, some actually believing that war on a large scale could never take place again. And yet today the memories of Verdun, Gallipoli and the Somme have almost been lost.
We have a tendency to forget. Even important things lose their significance over time. In another decade there will not be a single living World War II veteran. There were people who voted in this last election who cannot remember 9/11. Consider that. What will happen to those memories? Who knows how many events of national or worldwide importance have simply blown away like dried leaves in the wind?
When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land God had them set up twelve great stones as a memorial. The Old Testament is full of feasts and festivals commemorating the great things God had done. Jesus gave us the institution of Communion, the bread and the cup, so that we would remember. “Do this in remembrance of me,” He said (Luke 22:19). We are commanded to remember. Not just the good things, the victories, but even our defeats and failures.
Memory reminds us that we were heroes once – and we could be again! And it reminds us that we’ve been wicked before – and it’s up to us to prevent it. I’m not just talking about history either. We forget what’s gone before at our own peril. I’m sure there are many of you who have grieved that you did not ask a grandparent or parent something before they died. It’s funny to look back on your high school years and realize that you can’t even remember what electives you took, but it’s much harder to try and remember a story from a dear one who’s passed and find that you can’t.
There is always a (usually young) voice that wants to leave the past behind forever and look only forward. We need that voice, but we also need the aged voice of wisdom that looks at the present and remembers what happened the last time this situation went down. So whether it’s World War I, or the first Thanksgiving or your first breakup, don’t forget. Not every memory is pleasant, but it is better to remember.
Tyler Warner is the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Trussville. CCT currently meets on Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m., in the Cahaba Room of the Hilton-Garden Inn on 3230 Edwards Lake Pkwy. Listen to Tyler’s verse-by-verse Bible teaching at CalvaryChapelTrussville.com.