Never forget what’s most important

Published 9:51pm Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I brought the DVD to the front desk at the library for check-out a few days ago.

Another patron standing there saw the title and asked me about it.

“Is that ‘True Grit’ the original or the new one?”

“It’s the new one,” I replied.

“I don’t think I could watch it,” she said. “John Wayne was absolutely the greatest and nobody can replace him, or Shirley Temple.”

“Or Elvis,” the librarian replied.

“Or Karen Carpenter,” I said.

We all laughed at ourselves–three senior adults reminiscing about the “good ol’ days.”

This reminded me of one of my favorite stories in the Bible.

The Hebrews found themselves in the wilderness with Moses, their God-ordained leader, but they weren’t happy campers. Because of their disobedience they were defeated at the first attempt to capture Canaan.

They were seemingly lost to pointless wandering and had grown tired of their daily diet of manna.

We normally equate manna with bread, but its exact nature puzzled the Hebrews and is unknown to us. In fact, the first time they saw it on the ground they called it “man hu,” which means in Hebrew, “What’s that?” (Exodus 16:15). Our English “manna” comes from this Hebrew construction.

Whatever it was, they had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and sometimes for midnight snack. Then they began to reminisce about the “good ol’ days” in Egypt when they had onions and garlic (Numbers 11:5).

One has to be fairly tired of manna to wish for that kind of food. But what they forgot is that even though they had greater food variety in Egypt, in that land they were slaves. It was their gracious God who heard their cries, rescued them and provided food in the desert.

If they’d not been disobedient, they would be in Canaan eating milk and honey.

Modern Christians are exhorted to remember their history as well. Many communion tables have the phrase, “In remembrance of me,” engraved on them. As we participate in communion we remember the death of Jesus for our sins.

The bread represents his broken body and the cup represents his shed blood.

This is a message we should never tire of hearing, for it is the basis of our salvation and the motivation to serve God faithfully in our lives. Sometimes we get caught up in the running of our churches that we forget the most important thing.

Dottie Rambo’s old gospel song says, “Remember I’m human, and humans forget; so remind me, remind me, dear Lord.”

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