Years ago, as a new Air Force colonel, I got to chair a 15-nation committee at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Part of my job was to attend meetings in capitals across Europe.
Tough duty, right?
Once I took Jana with me to a meeting in Madrid. The meetings were classified, but Jana could sightsee and hang out with the spouses during the day. At the end of the week, there was a banquet at a place with a spectacular view of the old city of Toledo. Somehow, the folks knew it was my birthday. Leaders from 15 nations sang “Happy Birthday” to me.
You don’t forget things like that.
Now, mostly I think God forms us into the creatures he intends us to be through the everyday experiences of life.
But he uses the big things too.
God puts events in our lives, anniversaries, celebrations, etc., that we’re meant to experience together.
The greatest event—the defining event—in the life of ancient Israel was the Passover, the celebration of how God had rescued the Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt. Every Israelite, everywhere, celebrated the Passover meal the same way every year.
Until Jesus did what only God could do.
Hours before his arrest, Jesus redefined the whole thing.
From now on, the meal would celebrate Jesus as the rescuer, not of a nation, but of the whole human race.
From now on, this shared meal would form us—transform us—into a new kind of people.
That’s something to remember. And celebrate.