by Rev. Christopher Lewis,
Nothing is Impossible Ministries
As we approach Presidents’ Day in America, we are reminded of the legacy left by important leaders who helped lay important foundations for the nation in which we live.
George Washington was a general who helped lead the colonists to independence and then later served as this nation’s first president. He helped lay the foundation for us as a nation.
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president and served during one of the most tragic periods of our history, the Civil War. He stood up for the principles of liberty, believing that all people were created equal and that nobody had the right to own another human being. He helped lay the foundation that would lead to the Civil Rights movement a century later and helped put this nation on the road to learning to see all people as worthy of the same kind of love and respect, regardless of color, race or creed.
I think it is a very good thing that the United States still celebrates the lives of key people in its history because it is in remembering our history that we learn to prepare for our future. If we ignored our history, we would be destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. The practice of remembering key people or events serves as a series of road markers to remind us of where we have been and helps us, hopefully, to remember where we are trying to go.
In the Bible, the Israelites also had a practice of remembering key moments in their history at different times in the year, and to this very day the Jewish people continue to maintain this practice. It is largely through remembering their shared history that they have maintained such a strong sense of identity.
We find in the Bible that it was in the times that the Israelites forgot their history that they got off track. From time to time, they forgot about all the things God had done for them and tried to find their strength in their own abilities and plans. Whenever this happened, they lost sight of God and ended up getting into trouble…very often through the unfortunate experience of having their countries invaded by enemies and eventually by ending up in exile.
But God never forgot His people, and He continued to rescue them. In the end, in fact, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to come to this earth to make a way that they could be rescued once and for all. And when Jesus came, He came not only to rescue the Israelites but to rescue all people who would believe in Him.
Some readers may wonder why Christians take part in an ancient Christian practice of eating a piece of bread or a cracker and drinking a little bit of wine or grape-juice. Some call this practice “the Eucharist.” Others call it “Communion” or “the Lord’s Supper.” To the observer, it may seem a very strange practice indeed, but the reason they do it is because Jesus initiated this practice in the Gospels by saying, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19) NIV. It’s a road marker that reminds followers of Christ of their identity and also reminds them of why they are on the road they are traveling.
What are some other road markers on your path? If you are an American, perhaps you take a moment to remember key moments in your country’s history. If you are a Christian, perhaps you take a moment to think about what the Lord’s Supper is all about when you take it, and perhaps you also celebrate holidays such as Easter and Christmas throughout the year in a way that reminds you of who you are.
But there are also personal road markers in our lives. We celebrate things like birthdays and anniversaries, for example, and maybe we also remember the birthdays and anniversaries of important people in our lives. Occasionally, I take a moment to remember key people and events in my life that have shaped me and made me who I am today. I can think of several who left a legacy for me through the years.
We also have the opportunity to create new road markers for the future as we seek to make a positive impact upon our children or other people whom we love. What kind of road markers are you leaving along the way? Will someone remember a kind word you spoke, a hug you gave, or some help you gave 20, 30 or even 50 years from now?
Today, I am looking back at the road markers that have been left to guide me to where I am, and I pray that God may help me to leave a legacy for those who come after me. They don’t need to remember my name or name a holiday after me like they have for some, but I pray that something I do or say today may make an eternal difference for someone as I journey on.