Remembering is Important

12 Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord passed on, blowing the trumpets continually. The armed men went before them, and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets blew continually. 14 On the second day they marched around the city once and then returned to the camp. They did this for six days.

15 On the seventh day they rose early, at dawn, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. 16 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. 17 The city and all that is in it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live because she hid the messengers we sent. 18 As for you, keep away from the things devoted to destruction, so as not to covet[a] and take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel an object for destruction, bringing trouble upon it. 19 But all silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are sacred to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” 20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpets, they raised a great shout, and the wall fell down flat; so the people charged straight ahead into the city and captured it. 21 Then they devoted to destruction by the edge of the sword all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys. (Joshua 6:12-21, New Revised Standard Version)

I was sitting in the living room at Mrs. Nancy’s house. Her husband had passed away about two weeks before and I was making a pastoral call.

There are days for me, just like there are for almost all of us, we remember where we were and what we were doing. When JFK was assassinated I was in kindergarten. When got home from school, my mother told me that someone had shot the president and he died. I went in my bedroom and cried. It wasn’t really about JFK. I just knew the President was dead and we were supposed to be sad.

When I learned that Elvis had passed away, I was in the Navy. It was boot camp and our company commander gave us a little radio time. We were wondering why the station kept playing old Elvis tunes. After a few more songs we figured it out.

When the shuttle Challenger exploded, killing everyone onboard, I was in the computer room office at Storer Cable Communications. Since it was a cable television company we could keep a television on in our office. When Columbia exploded I was at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Houston, attending a continuing education event. At the end of a break a friend attending the same event came back in and gave me the news

I remember JFK happened in Dallas on a morning in November. Elvis died in mid-August. Challenger was on a January morning. I remember that Columbia was on a Saturday. I was living in Tyler and I had to drive home through the debris field and when I got home I wrote I put the sermon I had planned for the next day on a shelf and wrote a new sermon. I have never preached the sermon I wrote first that week.

For some of the events I don’t remember many of the details. Details can be important but the event itself is what we need to remember. If at some point I need the details for some reason, I can always find them. Remembering the people is what is truly important because where the people are, is where we need to let love, compassion and kindness begin.

Many in our society today have no idea of the significance of December 7, 1941. Despite the words of FDR that it was a date that would live in infamy.

We have little idea why, there are few that realize the significance of March 2, 1836, or October 12, 1492. The full details of Texas Independence Day, Columbus Day, and Pearl Harbor Day are not as important as remembering the day happened and why remembering is important. You can always find the details in a history book or online.

The Israelites remembered what happened at Jericho. For the Israelites this memory would be closer to memories like July 4, 1776 or March 2, 1836. It was a good memory that they could have forgotten just as many Texans have forgotten Texas Independence Day.

I do remember 9/11. I remember many of the details. I remember seeing the second jet fly into a tower. I remember hearing about the jet that flew into the Pentagon. I remember hearing about a fourth jet crashing in rural Pennsylvania. I remember seeing people jumping from windows and I remember seeing both towers come falling down.

In the pictures I saw, I remember thinking about Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones and all the loss of life that happened in both the valley and on 9/11. When I saw the picture above and other similar picture that valley is where my mind went. What the Israelites saw after the seventh time they circled the city of the seventh day and the walls of Jericho came down might have had a similar similar themes. These stories marked events the Israelites did not and believers today remember. For all those who died, we need to remember we need to continue to remember.

As time moves on, memories will fade. The day will come when all of us who remember will no longer be here so it is important to teach our kids the significance of the day or it will just be a day that something happened, we just can’t remember what.

Be blessed.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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