Why is it that we, as the people of God, are so forgetful? It seems that no matter how many times God shows up in our lives, we fail to remember His faithfulness. Maybe this is why we are repeatedly compared to sheep in the Scriptures. Sheep aren’t the brightest of creatures. One minute we’re crossing the Red Sea, which God has parted on our behalf, and the next we’re making a golden calf of false idol worship (Ok, maybe that was the Israelites, but you get the point). We are a forgetful people.
Whenever I read through the Scriptures, I find that God has to consistently remind His children of His faithfulness. Countless times God commands His people to write down testimonies of His goodness or build up memorials of events where God’s loyalty was proven. I believe God asked his people to create these reminders because He knew that we would eventually face circumstances where we would be tempted to doubt Him. In those moments of weakness or pain, it’s so easy to forget what God has repeatedly shown us to be true:
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.’” (Exodus 34:27)
“…The LORD said to Joshua, ‘Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan’…So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, ‘Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder…These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.’” (Joshua 4:1b-3b, 4-5a, 7b)
Throughout our 21-day fast, we have been taking communion often together as a church. Every time we partake in the elements, I can’t help but think of the command Jesus gave when He first shared communion with His disciples. As Jesus took the bread and the cup He said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). We must remember that the bread and the cup, which we eat and drink of, are the very body and blood of our Savior.
I know many of us within the Church are facing trials of various kinds during this fast and I have just one word to say: remember. Remember Jesus. Remember His body that was broken and remember His blood that was shed. In the midst of the hardships, let us fix our eyes on the one who overcame the grave. Don’t lose hope or faith, but instead “…run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a). Let us stay focused and not lose sight of Jesus during the fast. In His name we shall overcome!