Published July 26, 2011
Recently, as I led a Sunday morning prayer time at church, I asked the people if they remembered what they were doing a week ago. They hesitated until someone remembered that a week ago, they were in church. That wasn't such a difficult question.
Then I asked if they remembered what they were doing ten years ago. After a bit of a silence, one of the men gave a laughing response. "If it was a Sunday, we were in church."
Then I asked if anyone remembered what they were doing twenty-five years ago. I got some laughs from that question and a lot of people shaking their heads "no." There were no attempts to give an answer. Then I looked at Paul and commented that I was surprised that he didn't, at that moment, remember.
When I told the congregation that I remembered exactly what I was doing twenty-five years ago that particular day, they looked amazed until I explained. I was in the hospital giving birth to our younger son.
I remembered the date for twenty-five years because it was a special day. But, there are many special days in our lives. I remembered because something important happened. But, there are many days when something important happens. I can't bring to remembrance all those important dates.
I remember where I was twenty-five years ago, because I am reminded each year. In our son's younger days, it was birthday cake and presents. Now, it is a gift and a family meal together around the actual date.
Although we think we will remember particular happenings forever, we do forget. That is why the Children of Israel were told to set up rocks as a remembrance when they crossed the Red Sea. It is why they were told to celebrate the Feast of Weeks each year. It is why they still celebrate the Passover. They tended to forget and God wanted them to remember, especially the times where He worked so miraculously.
After the flood, God gave a sign to Noah. It was the rainbow. God told Noah that the rainbow is a reminder that never again will the entire world flood. It was a remembrance (covenant) to this world of God's promise.
God knew that we would also forget, even an event as important as the death of Jesus Christ for our sins. That is why Jesus told the disciples "Take eat: this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me," as well as "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." Paul tells us in that same I Corinthians: 11 passage, "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes." Jesus knew and Paul knew that we are a forgetful people. Communion serves to remind us.
I've often heard people say, "I don't have a good memory." That could be true for any one of us. But, take the steps to remember especially the important messages from Scripture and from the mouth and heart of Jesus.
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