“Remember” is an important word in the Bible. The book of Genesis tells of how God remembered Noah and Abraham. In the book of Exodus God remembered His covenant with Abraham and acted to free Abraham’s offspring from slavery in Egypt. But beginning in the book of Numbers remembering becomes an activity of the people as they are called to remember the mighty acts of God. Throughout the Old Testament narrative the people are called to build memorials to help them remember as a testament to God’s grace, mercy, and justice.
It’s important to remember because so often we forget. We forget how God has saved us time and again. We forget about God’s mighty acts in our midst. We forget about those times we have seen the love of God lived out in the lives of others. So we are called to remember and at times build memorials to help us remember.
That is what this weekend is about. This weekend is about remembering God’s acts among us and others’ acts of love. Just over 24 years ago we saw up close an act of gruesome evil, but in response to evil we experienced God’s acts of salvation and restoration, often through the actions of others.
As downtown Oklahoma City turns its attention to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Marathon our church plays an important part in helping the city remember. It’s almost been a generation since that horrific occurrence on April 19, 1995 in which 168 people were killed, hundreds more were injured, and thousands more were changed forever. So now, more than ever, we are called to remember lest we forget. We are certainly called to remember the lives lost, injured, and changed, but more so we are called to remember God’s acts of grace, mercy, and justice. We are called to remember those who ran toward danger to save others. We are called to remember coworkers caring for one another. We are called to remember first responders and workers who stayed at the site for months on end. We are called to remember how our city came together, how our state came together, how our nation came together. I hope you will join us at First Church OKC as we join together on Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. to remember the mighty acts of God in our midst. We are proud to be the oldest partner with the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum and know we continue to play an important role in the Memorial Marathon. Beginning at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning we will be providing a free pancake breakfast to runners, family members of runners, guests to Oklahoma City, and our neighbors. This is how we remember the events surrounding April 19, 1995, by selflessly serving others. We hope you will join us on Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. for a blessing of the shoes and gloves and for Sunday morning as we serve our city.
If you are helping on Sunday morning you are welcome to park in our lower parking lot before 4:30 a.m. After that time, you may pay to park in the 5th Street parking garage, north of the YMCA or find other paid parking in the area. The parking garage north of the church is not available to us on Sunday morning as the Memorial Marathon has it rented as a VIP site for runners. We were not given parking passes this year with the marathon route changes and more available parking in the area around our church.