Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Memory is Fading

Recently I filled in at a church where I have filled in at in the past. To my amazement, someone remembered my sermon from my previous visit, which was well over a year before. This is in comparison to teenagers who frequently forget what I've said before I'm even finished saying it to them.

I'm certainly not to be modeled in this area, for my wife has to repeat whatever it is she's saying to me numerous times. Even my young children have come to me, asking what mommy's directions were. When i realize I have no idea what their mother was saying, I respond with, "You should have been paying better attention. If you can't remember, I'm not going to tell you."

Have you ever wondered if God feels like this with us? After all, look at how much repetition there is in the Bible. How many times does God have to repeat Himself? He reminds them of His identity over and over again; while He is making covenants with them, while He is reminding them of covenants, while He is telling them why they'll be punished for breaking covenants, etc. Shouldn't we all be paying attention?

God remembers us. In the story of Noah, we see God remembering Noah (Genesis 8:1) and remembering the covenant in the rainbow (Genesis 9:15). Later, we're told that god remembered Abraham when he rescued Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:29). Still later God remembers Rachel and "opens her womb" (Genesis 30:22). I have a hard time picturing God with a long to-do list. Somehow seeing Him scanning down a list and suddenly saying, 'Oh yeah, no more flooding' doesn't seem quite right. But God remembers us. Therefore...

We should remember God. Just in the story of Israel leaving Egypt we have many, many instances of the people being told to remember. Remember what God has done, how He treated Egypt, how He rescued Israel, how He parted the Red Sea, how He provided food and water in the desert, how He brought them into a land not their own, how He did this, how He did that.

I think this is mostly keeping in mind that God is the main star in this play in which we sometimes mistake ourselves to be the lead. This is why Paul encouraged Timothy to remember Jesus Christ and what He has done (2 Timothy 2:8). Even Solomon told us that remembering God will better profit us than finding everything to be meaningless (Ecclesiastes 12:1-8).

We're also told to remember others. From Paul being eager to remember the poor (Galatians 2:10) to the writer of Hebrews telling us to forget entertaining strangers and other guests (Hebrews 13:2, 16) we're to keep our focus on others as well.

It would seem like our memory is an important thing. So as you celebrate life, be it Independence Day or your birthday, keep that rock in your head sharp. Otherwise you may forget that which should never be forgotten.

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