Tag Archives: Remembrance

Leviticus 21-23; Hebrews 8

Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands.

And since every high priest is required to offer gifts and sacrifices, our High Priest must make an offering, too. If he were here on earth, he would not even be a priest, since there already are priests who offer the gifts required by the law. They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.” (Hebrews 8:1-5, NLT)

Leviticus goes into description about offerings, cleanliness, worthiness. It lists the festivals and holy days, the reasons why and the ways they should be celebrated.

Growing up, holidays were commercial, and the traditions were meaningless, self-serving pleasures. When I read about the how and why of these holy days, they are rich with meaning in a way I was unaware of for at least half my life.

As an adult, I remember one year our friends David and Anita invited us to be guests at their Passover dinner. Anita lined up tables and covered them with beautiful tablecloths, giving an impression of one long table to seat over twenty people. It was spring. The sun set later in the evening and lit the room with a golden glow. I looked around at the faces of their family and friends and felt grateful to be counted among them. They explained the reasons for everything to us, and there were opportunities for each one of us to contribute to the evening’s celebration and remembrance.

When my kids were in their elementary school years, we read a book called All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. Other holidays and traditions came to light in this story–costumes, games, merry making–that, today, in the reading of Leviticus strike a chord of memory and curiosity. Of value and tradition.

I wonder if we sometimes forget the why of tradition in the focus of the what and how. I didn’t have a personal religious context for the Old Testament readings today. But I sat with the outline of what, how and why, and it reached my heart–it spoke of community, worship, honor and gratitude. It spoke of remembrance, celebration, humility and submission. So when Hebrews 8 mentions this is only a copy, a shadow of the real one, I am deeply moved.

Majestic God in heaven, thank you for holy days, tradition, community and worship. Thank you for reminding me that it’s about you, your sovereignty, love and power. Thank you for a challenging read today, to draw me closer to you. Thank you for glimpses of goodness in the copy of now.

Courtney (66books365)

2 Comments

Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

Deuteronomy 16; Psalm 103; Isaiah 43; Revelation 13

It’s good to remember what the Lord has done. When I read through the Bible, I read of his history of faithfulness, provision, love and forgiveness. I read of his victory and sacrifice. I read of his power and plan.

In Deuteronomy 16, there are the celebrations of Passover, the Festival of the Harvest, and the Festival of Shelters. These celebrations unite the people in worship and remembrance. It’s important to worship and remember.

Psalm 103 is both worship and remembrance. When I meditate on God’s goodness and love, it stirs my soul. It comforts me. It gives me security to trust him.

Isaiah 43:1-7, NLT:

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
    O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
    I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
    I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
    I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
    You are honored, and I love you.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
    I will gather you and your children from east and west.
I will say to the north and south,
    ‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel
    from the distant corners of the earth.
Bring all who claim me as their God,
    for I have made them for my glory.
    It was I who created them.’”

Deep waters, rivers of difficulty, fires of oppression–he says do not be afraid. He says you are honored and he loves you. He says he is with you.

It is important to remember his goodness, his faithfulness, his promises, his power.

13 “From eternity to eternity I am God.
    No one can snatch anyone out of my hand.
    No one can undo what I have done.” Isaiah 43:13, NLT

Held in his hands.

Courtney (66books365)

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

2 Chronicles 29-31; 1 Corinthians 8

2015 is the year our family went gluten-free. A child’s Celiac diagnosis was an overnight household and lifestyle transformation. I spent a large part of this summer reading up on the disease, discovering new ways of cooking, and brainstorming new approaches to meals.

***

A good friend’s suggestion of a book study called Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst seemed very unappealing since a brief description revealed it had to do with food and weight. But I checked it out from the library, and skimming over it turned to reading it, which turned to loving it.

***

I went to share a chicken salad recipe with another friend, who mentioned she was starting a (nutrition-focused) healthy eating plan. Suddenly, before I even understood what I was saying, I was ready to join her.

***

My Bible reading today was about a rededication of a temple to the Lord and ridding it of idols. It was about worshiping the Lord with thanksgiving and remembrance, with celebration and sacrifices. And, yeah, it was about food.

***

Lord, I’m learning about abundant life through you. All the things that were temporary pleasures or distractions are nothing compared to the joy I have in you. Thank you, God, for caring for me to show me and correct me and guide me to newness–and freedom.

Courtney (66books365)

(I did not receive compensation of any sort for reading or mentioning Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.)

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

1 Chronicles 16; Psalms 42, 44; 1 Corinthians 10:1-18

Remembrance

Hope

Need

Example

1 Chronicles 16–David’s song–full of praise and remembrance of what God has done. And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.

Psalm 42–not so jubilant. Panting, yearning, craving, breaking–the psalmist is deeply discouraged. But his message and resolution speaks last, “Hope.”

Psalm 44–God is praised; he gets the credit. But the psalmist is confused: We’ve praised you all day long, but now you’ve tossed us aside; we are butchered, mocked, humiliated.

17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
We have not violated your covenant.
18 Our hearts have not deserted you.
We have not strayed from your path.

1 Corinthians 10

I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago […] These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. 1 Corinthians 10:1,11 NLT.

I see themes of life: celebration, adoration. Depression, despair. Confusion, wondering. Hope. And while our clothes and lifestyles are unique bookends to time, we seem rather the same at heart–those wilderness wanderers and us.

I can look around and name friends who are celebrating, friends who are mourning and depressed, friends who wonder and wander–and if I look at 2012 through a lens of antiquity, isn’t it true of believers today:

And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. 1 Corinthians 10:17

Maybe the biggest changes can happen not in the span of centuries, but in the vapor years of a lifetime–the reversal of heart disease from hardened to tender–if we’re lucky. Paul writes to the believers in Corinth of the example of the past. And how blessed am I to hold their stories in my hands and learn from them. This bible, a book of remembrance; a book of hope; a book of need; a book of example.

Thank you, God.

Courtney (66books365)

2 Comments

Filed under 1 Chronicles, 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

1 Samuel 30, 31; Luke 24:1-35

David and his mighty men came from battle to find that their homes were burned, the city in ruins, their wives, children, aged-parents and all of their belongings carted away like cattle, spoils of war.  The men wept and cried until they had no more tears and then turned their bitterness toward David with betrayal in their hearts. David sought God, his Might Counselor, his Redeemer. “Do it and you will recover all,” was God’s response.

Fast forward hundreds of years…

Jesus, in the midst of a battle, the landscape of Earth ravaged and destroyed by the enemy, His people made slaves to sin and evil. He wants his people back, His sons and daughters, His bride to be restored. Jesus wept and cried for those who were lost and turned His eyes to His Father in Heaven. The response was the same…”Do it and you will recover all!”

Two pictures of rescue and restoration…

David’s obedience in pursuing his adversary: He obeyed God’s command regardless of the bitterness and disloyalty from those who claimed to be on his side. True to His Word, God gave the up-and-coming king complete success in the face of the Amalekites. His people and possessions were completely restored along with the plunder of his opponents, a band of Israelites rising out of the ashes.

Christ’s obedience in defeating the enemy: He obeyed God’s will despite being betrayed by those He loved and by those He came to save. Through His death and resurrection, God placed His Son on the throne as our Final King. He totally defeated the enemy, throwing open the door of His Kingdom for all those who choose to enter. His victory at Calvary makes it possible for everyone to escape from the pit of hell and rise out of the debris.

What struck me in the parallel of the triumph of these two kings is David’s men acknowledge his success and Jesus’ followers didn’t even recognize him, they couldn’t see the victory for what it is.

The women were the first to realize that He was no longer among the dead and they ran to share their revelation. The disciples did not believe. They thought the women were telling baseless stories. Even those who knew the prophecies and heard what Jesus had shared about what would happen didn’t understand the greatness of His accomplishment.

Then [Jesus] said to them, “So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him.” Luke 24:25-27 (MSG)

Eventually, eyes were opened and hearts were quickened, the story of our salvation acknowledged and rejoiced in. Even today the New Covenant is being spread to all ends of the Earth bringing restoration and revival to God’s people.

How often do I, as a believer, fail to remember and rejoice in the accomplishment of Jesus Christ? How often do I neglect to hold onto what He has told me in my heart? How often am I swallowed up by the difficulties of my circumstances only to forget the promises in His Word?

Yesappa, please help me to always remember what You have told me. Help me live daily in the joy of my salvation. Help me rise above my circumstances and keep Your Word written in my heart. Oh, Lord, that You would walk side by side with me and reveal Yourself to me through the scriptures. Peel the scales from my eyes and quicken my heart to understand Your promises. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India

1 Comment

Filed under 1 Samuel, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Luke, New Testament, Old Testament