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Remember, Don't Forget

9/8/21 | Weekly Pastor's Email | by Eric Wakeling

    Dear Calvary Family,

    I remember going to Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany and seeing the signs that say “Never Again.” Germany has made it a priority to remember the atrocities of their past so they will not repeat them. I vividly remember being both crushed in spirit and emotionally moved by their remembrance when I visited over 25 years ago.

    The vow of “Never Forget” was made after the tragedy of 9/11 that will reach its 20 year anniversary this Saturday. We don’t desire to remember the grief of that day or the horrific images we all have seared into our minds. I can still close my eyes and easily see the planes hit, the people jumping out of the buildings, the first responders running toward (not away) from the site, and the workers searching through rubble long after that fateful day. This would almost be impossible to forget.

    But the holocaust has taught us that people do forget and they doubt the reality of things that have happened long ago. Will people one day doubt the reality of 9/11? Maybe they already do.

    The people of Israel were called to this same challenge of “never forget.” They would so easily drift away from God and toward compromise with the world around them. God would tell them to “remember, don’t forget.”

    Remember, don’t forget.

    So this weekend we remember 9/11. We remember the people who died. 2,997 people were killed. 6,000 were injured. 344 firefighters and 71 law enforcement officers lost their lives. Approximately 1,140 people have been diagnosed with cancer related to the attacks. Over 1,400 first responders to the attacks have died since from various causes, many related to the events of that day. We remember the courage and love of those who sacrificed in so many ways.

    Remember, don’t forget.

    I hope this leads you toward remembering Jesus. Jesus called us at the Last Supper to remember. Remember the horror of the cross. Yes, we give thanks for Jesus’ sacrifice and we celebrate the resurrection, but we must remember. Remember what really happened.

    I also hope this leads you, as a Jesus follower, to remember and care about other tragedies here in the United States and around the world. We are called to say “never again” to injustices and atrocities around the world. We are called to “never forget” the terror our sinful humanity is capable of doing. We are called to “never stop” bringing God’s love and healing into a hurting world.

    So today, begin to prayerfully remember. And pray for a more beautiful, peaceful and hopeful future that is only found in Jesus.

    We will remember that this Sunday as we dive into how “We Value People.” Come worship together in English (with ASL available) at 9:00 am in the Worship Center - also available for watching outdoors on the Patio and livestreamed online at CalvaryLife.org/LIVE.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you,
    Eric