Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today. (Deuteronomy 15:15 NIV)
People are terrible at remembering things. Sure, we all forget car keys or birthdays or why we went downstairs just now. But we’re also prone to forget the lessons we learned. We’re creatures of routine. It can take people anywhere from 18 to 254 days of focused effort to form a new habit, and one of the easiest ways to sabotage a new routine is to lose sight of why you’re doing it.
In the book of Deuteronomy, the Hebrews are exhorted to remember what God did for them no fewer than eleven times. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, that God redeemed you, what God did. Sometimes what God did is the justification given for a command (5:15, 15:15, 24:18) or the reason the command should be obeyed (16:12).
God also built remembrance into the very law he gave the Israelites: tassels on their clothes (Numbers 15:38-40), sacrifices for their firstborn sons (Exodus 13:11-16), and festivals or observances throughout the year (Leviticus 23). Good and bad, the history memorialized by these signs and rituals reminded the Jews of what God had done for them.
Always, the purpose of remembering was to help God’s people live more faithfully in the future. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, it was understood that when God’s people live faithfully, they spread his blessing to all people (Galatians 3:8). That is our ultimate calling.
As we celebrate Creekside’s first 20 years this weekend, we’ll enjoy a time of looking back, but also the excitement of looking forward. God has been undeniably faithful to us, and we rejoice in it. But we also look forward, as we feel the weight of our responsibility, which is encapsulated by our new mission statement: We want to encounter Jesus, so that we become more like him, so that we can have greater impact on the world through him.
It’ll be quite the party. We hope you remember to join us! 🙂