While my wife Ellen and me were in Israel, the nation held the Memorial Day for the Holocaust. It is dedicated to the six million Jews who sacrificed their lives during World War II. The day meant a lot for the Jewish people. The Israeli flags were in half-mast. All stores closed early. In our hotel, there wasn’t music in the lobby. Instead, there was a booth displaying pictures of some Holocaust victims. Guests can light candles in their honor. Last May 1, a siren sounded throughout the nation, calling everyone to observe a minute of solemn silence. We also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. It was sobering to see not only the videos and pictures but also the personal belongings of the victims and other relics.

During our educational study tour in Israel, I noticed that they spared no effort in preserving their national parks that were traditional and historical sites of Biblical stories. All over the place I saw boulders piled up on each other, serving as stones of remembrance. It shows their resolve to remember their history. Doron, our Jewish tour guide whose grandparents perished in the Holocaust, told us that remembering their history gave the Jews the strength to survive. They connect their present and the future to their past. Remember the saying, “Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, hindi makakarating sa paroroonan”? (In English, “He who does not look back could not move forward.”)

We also have a rich history of faith. The Bible tells us, “Everything written long ago was written to teach us so that we would have confidence through the endurance and encouragement which the Scriptures give us.” (Romans 15:4, God’s Word) History is not just a study of names, dates, places and events. We are to glean its lessons through the lives of men and women of God in the Scriptures. We are commanded, “Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. Think about how their lives turned out, and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7) The best way to honor the past is to hone our lives according to its lessons. That also poses a challenge for us to continue the legacy of faith. As one song goes, “May all who come behind us find us faithful!”

Brethren, may our lives make our faith worth imitating!


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