“The Feast of Unleavened Bread you shall keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, in the appointed time of the month of Abib; for in the month of Abib you came out from Egypt.” Exodus 34:18
What anniversaries do you celebrate. Most of us in some way acknowledge birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and major holidays. I’d list some of the latter but depending on the part of the world you’re from or, perhaps, spiritual convictions you may have, observance of those yearly events can vary greatly.
The children of Israel were directed by God to celebrate the Passover each year as a memorial of their deliverance from the curse of the tenth plague as the angel of the Lord slew the first born of every house in Egypt that was not covered by the blood of a lamb. But the Passover was more than just a memorial it was also a reminder of God’s promise to save all his people from the penalty of death, because of sin, by the sacrifice of his own Son, Jesus Christ.
It’s good for us to remember and celebrate the great things God has done for us. As I read today’s focus text I thought of the day I was baptized and wondered why I’ve never made a bigger deal about remembering and celebrating that day. This was a tremendously important day in my life. On it I bore witness to the fact that I’d accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior by obeying his word and participating in the experience of baptism, the symbol of his death and resurrection, and that day became a member of God’s church.
What happened that day signifies more of who I am than any other event in my life. Because of the choices leading up to that day, and many following it, the values and direction of my life were set, I said yes to God’s call to be a pastor, I followed God’s lead in the selection of a wife, and so much more. Without the that day of baptism and all that it meant everything else would have been very different because I would have been very different.
I’m thinking that perhaps we ought to celebrate baptisms like we do birthdays and anniversaries. I don’t guess we need any gifts, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are gifts enough. But such an important event in our lives needs to be remembered, celebrated, reaffirmed.
It’s easy to forget what you don’t intentionally try to remember. God put memorials of his great workings into the Jewish calendar so they wouldn’t forget perhaps we should add some memorials of the great things he’s done for us in our calendars as well.