"But watch out! Be very careful never to forget what you have seen God doing for you. May his miracles have a deep and permanent effect upon your lives! Tell your children and your grandchildren about the glorious miracles he did."
Deuteronomy 4:9, The Living Bible
We were living in Westport, Connecticut in 1983. It was a Friday and they announced that schools and offices in New York were closing. The snow storm hit and, by the next morning, we measured 19” in our driveway. Then the digging out began. Rod, I and the two children started to shovel out snow from a very long driveway. As a family, we have talked about that day many times since. We had fun: we learnt to place the shovel full of snow carefully so that it did not need moving again. We learnt to take rest breaks. We learnt that snow is pretty to see, but back breaking to move. I am reminded of that day seeing recent pictures from the blizzards in the Northeast. I am reminded to give thanks to God that I now live in Houston with little or no snow.
It is a memory from years ago, a part of my story, my history, a memory which was prompted by an event now telling me do not forget to remember.
The reading from Deuteronomy is part of an address that Moses made to the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land, an address reminding them of all that God had done for them. The generation of those who had fled Egypt was now dead, and it was their children and children’s children who would enter a new land. Moses admonished them that they need to pass on the history and its meaning that was passed down to them, to keep alive their history. God had performed great miracles and their meanings must not be forgotten. God had been faithful even when the people had disobeyed. God had taught them how to avoid mistakes in their lives by learning from past failures. We often need reminding of God’s love for us and all that He has done.
We need to be reminded to remember. To forget our story is to forget who we are and why we are here. Remember not to forget but to share the experience.