English Standard Version (ESV)
History can be a wonderful gift to us -- it has much to teach us about how we can live, about the consequences of mistakes, about what truly matters in life. Here, in the 15th chapter of Acts, the church council is leaning into their own church history to learn about what God is doing. They draw upon the words of the prophets to better understand their current situation, and they make a decision informed by their common history.
Memorial Day is an interesting holiday. It's the start of summer, and so we're interested in being outside, in celebrating a long weekend and looking forward to recreation and relaxation. And yet, the day itself is set aside to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Thousands have put their lives in jeopardy for this country, and they have given their lives for freedom. This is our common history -- and we are wise to remember the sacrifices that make our freedom possible. Informed by the cost of our freedom, we should celebrate what we have with an eye on honoring those who have made it possible.
This is what we do in the church as well. We remember the cost of our freedom in Christ -- it was not free, or easy, but Christ paid the price so that we might be free. Remembering that, we should be willing to live in such a way that honors the sacrifice, that is filled with gratitude, that looks forward to a future with hope based on what has transpired in the past.