19 April is a day to remember… but then, every day is a day to remember, in one way or another. If one has a connection with Oklahoma, 19 April 1995 is a day not easily forgotten.
It does not take much for the tears to gather in my eyes. On other days that happens as well. Sadly, too often, in too many places, someone does something drastic and horrible that will forever change the lives of people. Ironically, if one has no connection with a people in a place where tragedy has occurred, we may soon lose the memory of it ever happening.
For some events in our lives, we can clearly recall all the details of a day. Where were you when…? For much of our lives… however, we coast through, making connection and memoires that are easily blurred over time. Family stories and pictures help, although, sometimes family members may not fully agree about all of the details!
Yesterday, another bus was blown up in Jerusalem… the other day 500 or so people’s lives were lost in a desperate move to flea one country in hopes of a better life in another country, and because it happened in the night on the Mediterranean Sea, few people are even mentioning it. And so it goes on.
The Gospel message, of the risen Jesus, was something that happened, and we continue to celebrate it, and we continue to struggle theologically about it, and yet, we continue to hold on to the message of the risen Lord, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah.
As a United Methodist person serving in the Jerusalem area, we celebrated Easter a few weeks ago, meanwhile our Eastern (Greek, Russian, etc.) Orthodox and Armenian brothers and sisters will celebrate Easter in a couple of weeks. When we gathered in Jerusalem with thousands of Christians from around the world, including some of those living in Palestine who had permission to travel to Jerusalem, to walk the Palm Sunday walk from the Mount of Olives into the Old City of Jerusalem, even though we thought this was the only event happening in Jerusalem that day, the rest of the world may not have realized we were there.
Although there are many more positive and happy things which have happened over the years, 19 April is a reminder for many about the explosion of the Murrah building and the death of 168 people in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; or for others the killing of 70 people in Waco, Texas; and for yet others, the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. It is also the date of the first Boston Marathon in 1897.
It is important to continue to remember events, and it is as important to learn our history, as well as history in the world so that we do not continue to repeat the tragic events. The scars of our past are very much a part of our lives and our world.
Dates, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures, all contribute to and add flavor to our memories. Good and sad.
Out of the ashes, the phoenix rises.
Up from the grave our savior rose!
From the tragedy and from the beauty we will rise to find our place in this world. May we all work together for real peace with real justice for all of humanity!
Pictures used were found on the internet, a statue of Jesus Wept, at the Murrah Memorial site in Oklahoma City.