Psalm 145:3-4 - Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.
How did one generation in Israel commend the works of the Lord to the next generation? Year after year, generation and after generation, how did the Israelites remember and declare the mighty acts of God? With His command to declare His saving power, God gave them a statement of faith, a creed, to be remembered and repeated: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4). The Israelites were to teach the Lord's commands to their children, talking about the Word of God at home and away, day and night.
God gave Israel special days and great annual festivals to memorialize His mighty acts. The Sabbath recalled His rest after He created the heavens and the earth. During Passover, Israel relived their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. First Fruits and Pentecost celebrated the harvests that God provided. The sacrifices of the Day of Atonement reminded Israel that "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins" (Hebrews 9:22b). The Feast of Booths recalled God's care as Israel journeyed through the wilderness to the Promised Land. At these festivals, the children would ask, "What do you mean by this service?" (Exodus 12:26b). The answer would focus the attention of the next generation on the God who saved them.
How do we commend the works of God to the next generation? We remember and repeat creeds, from the simple words, "Jesus is Lord" (1 Corinthians 12:3b) to the historic statements of faith, the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. We study God's Word and talk about it at home and away, day and night. Celebrations help us to remember God's saving power as His mighty acts are woven into our lives during worship. During Advent and Christmas, we rejoice in Jesus' birth and eagerly await His return. Epiphany celebrates Jesus as the Light of the world and the Savior of all nations.
Through Lent and Holy Week, days of repentance, we remember that Jesus, our Passover Lamb, was sacrificed for us. On Easter—and every Sunday—we joyfully celebrate Jesus' resurrection as we look forward to the hope of our own resurrection on the Last Day. On Pentecost we remember the gift of the Holy Spirit and the great harvest of souls gathered into the church on that day. During the second half of the church year, after the festivals are done, we continue to study God's Word and grow in grace. When children—and adults!—ask why we celebrate these events, we can tell them about the grace and power of God, who sent His Son to save us. Year after year, day after day, generation to generation, we declare the mighty acts of God!
WE PRAY: God and Savior, help me to declare Your mighty power to the next generation. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Was there some person who was a significant Christian witness for you in your youth? Who?
2. What purpose did God-centered feasts and festivals have for ancient Israel? Do we have events like these in the Christian church today?
3. Do you have a favorite church holiday/celebration besides the biggies of Christmas and Easter?
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