How’s your memory? Failing to Remember what your wife asked you to pick up from the shopping centre can have implications. Forgetting a doctor’s appointment could prove disastrous. Missing an anniversary hurts. Remembering is such an important aspect of living. A nation that forgets its history could potentially be doomed to repeat its errors. We know this and live in a nation that values remembrances – Easter, Anzac Day, Sorry Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Remembrance Day and more.
In recent years I have become an avid listener to podcasts and online presentations. Perhaps it’s the many hours in the car driving across the region that sees me fill those hours with the reflections of others. The exercise of walking has also seen me plug in.
In the current COVID-19 space I have listened to many church services online which I would commend. If it has been a long time between drinks when it comes to going to church, or if you have never been to church, I can’t think of a better time to visit than now. You don’t even have to get out of bed on Sunday to go. You don’t have to feel nervous about going. You can argue with the preacher. You might even find yourself reintroduced to the person of Jesus Christ and realise how precious he really is to lives like yours and mine.
History is full of reminders and in days of insecurity it’s helpful to remember what people in the past put their faith in at times of great upheaval. What can we trust in when the usual confidences are no comfort? COVID-19 may be a good time to reflect on Jesus Christ, to remember the history of the life of God’s Son as he has impacted every age since his birth bringing comfort and hope even to this present time.
Thinking about remembrances, I was on the road listening to a man by the name of Albert Mohler. He’s the principle of a Baptist Theological College in the United States. Each morning he reflects on various news topics that can take you to other parts of the world and even to different times in our world’s history. Recently he focused on the very significant remembrance of VE Day, the end of a world crisis. It was a crisis that found people dependent on God in prayer, rejecting their atheism in fox holes and considering the promise of resurrection to be their greatest comfort.
It came at 2:41 AM on the 7th of May, 1945, the final unconditional surrender of Nazi forces. The surrender came as Nazi General, Alfred Jodl, came into a room and signed the unconditional surrender, which at that point was only 234 words in five paragraphs. That's all it took.
But actually behind it, what it took was the death of approximately 100 million human beings in both theatres of the war. It took the largest military effort in all of human history to defeat Nazi Germany, but Nazi Germany was finally defeated. Adolf Hitler had committed suicide in his bunker in Berlin. Nazi Germany was a vanquished foe, and the unconditional surrender to which the Allied Forces had agreed was absolutely necessary. Finally, it was in hand.
Dwight David Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces, would call General Omar Bradley and say simply, "Brad, it's over." And it was.
Albert Mohler’s postscript was this, “Sometimes, human history comes down to moments like that, moments we dare not forget—now 75 years later.” Indeed sometimes human history comes down to moments like the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which we dare not forget – now 2000 years later. Moments when our unconditional surrender to the God who created us and the Christ who rescued us offered us unconditional pardon and eternal hope. COVID-19 is a great opportunity to consider again the place of Jesus Christ in our lives and for our communities.Rick Lewers