2 Kings 23:21-25
When I was growing up, Thanksgiving weekend was one of my family’s biggest celebrations. Twenty or more of us would gather in our mountain house for a few days of reunion and giving thanks. No matter what the day held, it always ended with our telling the stories of past generations. These were some of my favorite times. I loved hearing about my grandmother and her siblings when they were little. I laughed as my mom and her cousins reminisced about Christmases spent together at my great-grandparents’ house, sweating through their clothes because my great-grandfather kept the furnace turned so high. These stories helped my generation understand our family better. They gave us an identity. Those stories brought us back to our roots.
I imagine the people of Judah feeling the same way as they celebrated Passover. Although it had not been observed in many years, taking part in this holy ritual no doubt gave them an understanding of past generations. Celebrating Passover returned them to their roots as God’s chosen people.
That’s what Passover was designed to do. In Exodus, the Lord tells the Israelites, “This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. Celebrate this day from generation to generation” (see 12:14, 17).
Sometimes we all need a reminder of who we are. We need to remember that we are chosen by God. King Josiah’s people were no different.
How do you return to your roots? What could you do today to remind yourself that you are chosen by God?
God of our past, present, and future, we sometimes find ourselves needing to remember who we are. May we seek the stories and celebrations that remind us of our roots. Help us remember that we are your chosen children. Amen.