Never forget who you are
Why it is important to remember who you are and where you've come from
I've recently been in Germany & it seems like a lot of Germans would like to forget the 20th century ever happened. In the 1930s a madman took control of the country. He created an atmosphere of fear, where people were afraid to look sideways in case they were arrested. He led them in a war that would have most of the world thinking they were pure evil. And he systematically attempted to kill every single Jew he could get his hands on. Needless to say, the Germans were happy to be free of him. These days Germans won’t even name their dogs Adolf. That’s how much they want to forget him.
The second half of the 20th century wasn’t much better. The country was split in half and a big barrier set up, right down the middle. If you lived in the eastern half, you lived in a communist country. If you didn’t like it, tough. You weren’t allowed to leave. In 1989, East and West Germany were rejoined. Many Germans would like to move on and forget this sad part of their history.
But as you travel through Germany, there are memorials to these events. Lots of them. As much as they’d like to forget, they’ve chosen to remember. If they were to tear down all the concentration camps, remove all traces of the wall, pretend like none of it ever happened, then they would be in danger. They would be in danger of it happening again.
Germany chooses to remember who they are and where they have come from. They don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past. They don’t want anyone to think that these tragedies were a good idea and worth repeating.
The people of Israel, back in the Old Testament, were also big on memorials. Each year they celebrated the Passover meal, in order to remember what God did for them in Egypt. When Joshua brought the people into the Promised Land, God had them set up 12 large stones as a memorial to remind them of what God had done (Joshua 4).
In the New Testament, we are encouraged to share the Lord’s Supper together “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.” (1 Cor 11: 26) We are to remember that Jesus died for us so that we may be free from sin. And that he will come back again. That’s something worth remembering.
Never forget that Jesus died to save you. Never forget what your salvation cost God. Never forget what it means to be one of his people.
Don’t take it for granted that people will always know this. People need to be told. They need to be reminded. Otherwise they may forget. Otherwise they may never know who Jesus is and what he has done.
Remember who you are. Remember what has been done for you. Go out and tell people. They need to know the truth. But if no one remembers, if no one shares the truth, if we keep it to ourselves and forget it… then that would be a far greater tragedy than anything that happened in Germany in the 20th century.