This week we remember that one year ago, a peaceful protest in downtown Dallas was winding down when a gunman opened fire. His targets? Police. Five officers died. Nine others and two civilians were injured. We remember Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Patrick Zamarripa and Brent Thompson who lost their lives that night.
“Remember” is used 159 times in the Bible (at least in the NRSV) — we see it in both the Old and New Testaments. Clearly, remembering is important. From the very beginning of Israel’s history, God used symbols, feasts and monuments to memorialize covenants, rites, rituals and important acts and events. The symbols, feasts, monuments, etc. were intended to help God’s children (at that time and for generations to come) remember how God was at work in their midst.
- God gave the rainbow to Noah
- The rite of circumcision to Abraham
- Required feasts
- Symbols of the temple furnishings
- Garments of the priests
- Monuments erected at the site of important happenings (on several occasions, Biblical people were told to make a monument of stone as a reminder of a miracle, battle or important event)
- The written Word
- The Lord’s Supper
Remembering is important — because it isn’t just about what happened in the past. Remembering informs us and also forms us — it spurs us into the future with hope.
- Remembering your wedding vows helps you focus again on your commitment.
- Remembering how scared you were when you were sick helps you cherish the days you have.
- Remembering how much you loved your kids when they were born makes you cherish them more now.
- Remembering the hard fought battles of freedom reminds us to defend that freedom in the present and to honor those who defended that freedom in the past.
- Remembering the birth of Christ in Bethlehem deepens our worship.
- Remembering the resurrection of Christ gives us hope at a graveside.
- Remembering how much it hurt to lose someone helps you cherish those you may have taken for granted.
- Remembering what you were before God changed you will help you be more loving toward those who have not yet experienced God’s transforming power.
Remembering 7/7/2016 is important for our community. I encourage you to take time to remember — with family or friends, or even by participating this weekend in some of the activities scheduled in Dallas.
Let us as people of faith join together in remembering, so that we might keep an attitude of gratitude towards the men and women who put on the uniform each day to serve and protect. If you have stopped, start again, thanking police officers when you see them even if they have just pulled you over for speeding or a traffic violation.
We are a memorial people and so let us continue to find ways to remember both the spiritual, civil, and personal events that have made us who we are.