Remembering is an important part of life. In fact, life and freedom become precarious and tenuous if we forget to remember. We American are having an especially hard time remembering important things in our past. We want to put all our investment of thought, time and energy in the future. We are a lot like Huckleberry Finn. He was finally starting to get interested in the Bible when Aunt Polly was learning him about Moses and the bulrushes, but then she let it out that Moses was dead and that was the end of that. In the immortal words of Huck, “I don’t take no stock in dead people.” So, it is with us. We as a nation are putting less and less stock in dead people, and as a result less and less stock in the things people died for.
In the Protestant world, this year is a Jubilee year, the 500th anniversary of when a young monk, Martin Luther, did the modern equivalent of making an online blog post inviting public discussion. He nailed 95 theses or points for discussion to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. It was the nail that turned the world upside down. Completely unknown to him or even intended by him, he lit a fire that still burns 500 years later. This event is being commemorated all over Europe and North America this Fall. Lord willing, we will spend the next seven Lord’s Days leading up to Reformation Sunday, October 29, considering five pillars of the Protestant Reformation and how they relate to us today. But before we do that it is reasonable to ask the question why, is it really necessary or important?
In this season of graduations, why do we honor graduates for every new level of learning and achievement, whether it’s eighth grade, high school, trade school, college or post-graduate? We generally consider knowledge a good thing. We send our children to school because we place a high value on knowledge and we hope they get some there. Acquiring knowledge is a good and necessary and noble pursuit. There is one thing supremely more important than everything else. It is of such importance you can’t go to heaven without knowing it. Jesus Himself said, “This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). I would like us to take the summer to get to know God better. I mean really get to know God, to drill as deeply as we can into His character and nature. Our generation is losing touch with God, losing a sense of the awesome splendor and majesty of God, losing a sense of the true greatness of God. We are getting ho-hum, complacent, bored. Our God is getting smaller and smaller. Our God today is hardly worth thinking about or meditating on. In our busy, activity filled, pleasure seeking, self-absorbed culture the words, “Be still and know that I am God” have no meaning or interest. I want to stir us up this summer to grow in knowing God, to stir up our hearts to seek Him in deeper ways that we might love Him more and be filled with the peace and joy of knowing Him. I believe that such knowledge is relevant for every aspect of our lives, for our marriages, for our parenting and grand parenting, for our careers and for our retirement, for our relationships, our fears, our questions about life. All of us have problems in our lives. Graduate school issues are not helped with elementary school knowledge of God. If our God is too small or if we think wrongly about God our problems and issues just get worse. It matters that you know God and it matters what you think about God.