The Morning and Evening Sacrifice: A Sacrifice of Praise through the Psalms -- By: Walter Hampel

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 34:0 (NA 2002)
Article: The Morning and Evening Sacrifice: A Sacrifice of Praise through the Psalms
Author: Walter Hampel

The Morning and Evening Sacrifice:
A Sacrifice of Praise through the Psalms

Walter Hampel

Walter Hampel (MA, ATS) is a teacher at Troy Christian Chapel in Troy, Michigan

The Need for Memory

Every nation must have a collective memory if it is to survive. Memory is the core of its history. Even though no living Americans have personal memory of President George Washington, we still remember him as our first president. Without a national memory, we would soon forget what it means to be American.

Memory serves us individually as well. It roots us to our community, family and even ourselves. It is not uncommon to find family photographs on our desks at work or stuffed inside a wallet. We do this not because we cannot remember these loved ones without such photographs. Rather, we do it because the photos serve as a periodic reminder during the day of those who love us and of our life beyond the confines of work.

Christians need memory too. Without it, we begin to forget the One who loves us and died for us. The world has a way of trying to force its attention and its priorities into our daily lives. David Wells likens the world’s influence on us to a constant pounding. He writes that such a pounding

is made up of the pressures, demands, and expectations of our modern culture that combine to deliver the message that we must belong to it, not simply in the sense that we must live in it, but rather that we must live by it.1 (Emphasis added)

This threat is not a new one. Throughout church history, Christians have found various ways of fulfilling the command to “remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.”2 Numerous devotional practices have developed as Christians have sought to keep their minds on heavenly things rather than on the things of this world.3

Christians throughout the centuries have used various means of remembering God on a frequent basis. In many cultures, roadside “pilgrim crosses” were set up as reminders of Christ and to serve as sites for travelers’ prayers. These crosses acted as a “thread of memory” which connected the traveler to Christ.

There are two special “threads of memory” which can keep us connected to Christ. These threads have been used for millennia by those faithful to God. When woven together, these threads provide a time-tested pattern for communing with Christ and keeping Him in our memory.

The First Thread—A Timely Sacrifice

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