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  • Writer's pictureTrey Harper

Happy Birthday!

Annually, many people celebrate their arrival into this world. The younger tend to be more festive, the older, less so. Some people greet this annual event with happiness and mirth, some as a foreboding tic toward their departure. Throughout history the birthdate has been marked as a time to be thankful for someone’s life. In the grand scheme of time, this seems to be a newer trend. Many older tombstones will only have a date of death.

Jesus commands that His children remember both, kind of. Sunday is the day Christians gather because Sunday is the day of the week on which Jesus was born! Not His birth as a baby, but as “the firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1.18). So, we gather to remember that on the same day of the week.

Before Jesus died, He started a tradition that His people continue, and we continue it on His “re-birthday” (Sunday). Matthew 26.26-30 contains the events of the very first communion feast. Paul says that in this feast we “proclaim the Lord’s death” (1 Corinthians 11.26). So, the day of the week on which Jesus was born is also the day of the week when we remember Him as having died. The point Paul is positing to the Corinthians is that just showing up for the birthday party is not the point. They are supposed to understand Jesus’s life is only worth celebrating because He died! If Jesus has not been [reborn], then…your faith is in worthless! (adaptation of 1 Corinthians 15.14)

“When people observe something regularly, they tend to turn off their minds, not seeing the significance of what is set before them. When a ritual becomes familiar, people may simply go through the motions, and all significance of what they do can be lost. This often happens to memorials

Christians are given a memorial to “do this in memory of me” (Luke 22.19.

Once we have committed ourselves to remembering Jesus, we may ask ourselves, ‘What about Jesus is to be remembered?’ Jesus’ life was full of moments about which we could meditate. But as we gather around the table to partake of the Lord’s memorial the primary focus should be on remembering Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection” (Excerpts from BENEATH THE CROSS, pp. 40-41)


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