My life alongside God's word, volume 3. 'Daily Christian discipleship' section.
An anniversary is a date when people celebrate something important that has happened in a previous year. I have many
photos that remind me of events like teaching at a pastors’ conference in Bahri, preaching to young people in Arabic
ministries near Suk 2 Khartoum, taking a service in Fittihab ECS, travelling to speak in El Obied, El Gedaref and Port Sudan SPEC churches. All these events were in the last century!
The month of May in recent years holds many sad memories for Sudanese people. It is the anniversary of:
• North fighting a war with Southerners in Abyei, over oil, in 2008.
• North occupying Abyei, a then disputed border region, in 2011.
• Sudan pledging to pull out and resume bilateral talks on Abyei, in 2012.
• Conflict between Southerners displacing over 1million people and forcing 5 million (almost entirely Southerners) on to humanitarian aid in order to live, in 2014.
• Only God knows what is going to happen in Sudan and South Sudan during 2015/2016/2017. (I write this 13/04/15). Jesus may even return! In case He does
not, let us keep praying for a just peace to come.
When Joshua erected a memorial of twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan river at the very first campsite they made in the promised land, it was to act like an anniversary.
In following years, every time people saw the memorial stones they were to remember what God had done in drying up the Jordan river until everybody had safely crossed, see
Christians regularly remember the human body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ when celebrating Communion, sometimes called the Lord’s Table, the Lord’s Supper, Breaking of Bread or the Eucharist, see 1 Corinthians 11:24- 25. Jesus sacrificed Himself to get into the position where He could be the Saviour of the world. It is a ‘bloody’ feast, but it is Jesus’ pure sinless blood that makes it effective. Only Jesus is Mediator between human beings and God. A life-transforming encounter with the Lord Jesus is God’s appointed Way for people to become His people.
I have written in the front of a small New Testament, in my own young handwriting: “On 23rd June 1962 I became a Christian through the efforts of a Hounslow Youth For Christ
team”. (Hounslow is on the west side of London). Seeing this reminds me of what God has done in my life. My wife Brenda and I may go out for a special meal on the anniversary of that day.
What anniversaries or memorials, will you think of this month? A touched wedding ring may remind you of loving promises. Eaten bread and wine do show the eternal salvation you have begun to experience now.
A national and international peace accord will surely mean a lot when it is reached between Sudan and South Sudan, and between the various factions in both countries. So, “We pray for all in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Saviour”, part of 1 Timothy 2:1-6. We pray, and we keep on doing all the good that we can.