Last Saturday, January 31, marked the the 27th anniversary of the day I became a Christian. I was in San Clemente, CA, at the time and I was baptized California style, in a Jacuzzi, about the same time the Super Bowl was starting. It was a life-changing event for me, and like any life-changing event, I didn’t want to forget the date. I don’t think God wants me to forget the date either, nor the events that lead to my decision. Over the years, I have faltered, many times. I have been filled with confusion and doubt, but I never lost sight of the fact that God’s grace had saved from the messed up life I was living.
After God rescued the Israelites from the bonds of slavery in Egypt, he made a covenant with his people. God didn’t want them to forget what he had done for them. Before entering the promised land, God gathered his people together and went over the commandments again in Deut. 5. Then in chapter six the Israelites are told:
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you-a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant-then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD , who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery (Dt.6:6-12).
Memorials are important because they remind us of our history. For Israel, the Passover, was celebrated every year to remind Israel when they were rescued from sin. I think this is also the reason why Christians are celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Even with memorials, there is still the tendency to forget. When we can’t remember dates, it is often a sign that the significance of the event has already started to fade. Can you imagine forgetting your wedding day or the birthday of one of your children? We remember these dates because they are important events to us.
So along with all the other special dates in my life, I remember when I was born into my spiritual family. I also remember April 5 as a special date. It was on that day that I gave up drinking, smoking, and all recreational drugs. This year will mark the 28th since I sobered up. I have forgotten many things over the years, but I hope I never forget these two dates that have changed my life forever more.