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Altars Of Remembrance

Altars Of Remembrance

27 January 2011

Today’s Reading: Exodus 17-20; Acts 3

Scripture:

24 “The altars you make for me must be simple altars of earth. Offer on such altars your sacrifices to me – your burnt offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Build altars in the places where I remind you who I am, and I will come and bless you there. 25 If you use stones to build my altar, use only natural, uncut stones. Do not shape the stones with a tool, for that would make the altar unfit for holy use.” (Exodus 20:24-25 NLT)

From the time of Abraham, God’s people had built altars in the places where they had memorable encounters with God. Now God was formalizing the practice as he moved from dealing with a man and his family to a nation. God said that they were to build altars, simple altars, of sacrifice in the places where they encountered God and where God reminded them of who he is. These altars would be places of remembrance, of offering, and of blessing.

One of the ways Jean and I keep our faith steady and strong is by remembering the places and the experiences in which God has reminded us of who he is. We do this through our periodic mini-retreats, at family holidays and events, during times when we have the kids and grandkids together. We build altars of remembrance when we are facing challenges and when we have important decisions to make. We’re learning to make each blessing of God’s provision and direction an altar of remembrance.

In the present season of personal change and transition that Jean and I are experiencing, and because of the intensifying pace of change in our world, it’s more important than ever for us to remember who God is and what He has done in our lives.

Today’s reading is a challenge and encouragement to be more intentional in identifying the places where God has reminded us of who he is and marking and revisiting those places more often. And I think we will add the element of sacrifice – of giving a remembrance offering when we revisit our altars of remembrance.

Prayer:

Father, Thanks for helping me see something new in an old scripture today. I’m looking forward to sharing this with Jean and the kids. Help us to create some new faith strengthening “altars of remembrance” and visit them often. Please show us a creative way to add the element of giving a remembrance offering. Amen.

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