Two middle-aged couples were enjoying friendly conversation when one of the men asked the other, “Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?”
“Outstanding,” Fred replied. “They taught us all of the latest psychological techniques, like visualization, association, and so on. It was great. I haven’t had a problem since.”
“Sounds like something I could use. What was the name of the clinic?”
Fred went blank. He thought and thought but couldn’t remember. Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, “What do you call that flower with the long stem and thorns?”
“You mean a rose?”
“Yes, that’s it.”
He turned to his wife, “Rose…what was the name of that memory clinic?”
We all need something–or someone–to remind us not to forget to remember. The Scriptures are full of calls to do just that, to practice remembering the works of God. Grab a Bible concordance (or log on to BibleGateway.com) and look up all of the references using that word “remember.” Or, conversely, the warnings not to forget. You’ll see a regular pattern of a biblical call to remember.
The children of Israel regularly rehearsed the stories of God’s deliverance of His people from Egypt to remind them of His faithfulness and to grow their faith. They practiced remembering. In the New Testament, there is no clearer call to remembering than the inauguration of the Lord’s Supper where Jesus called His disciples to “do this in remembrance of Me.”
And so, we remember. But our intentional remembering is not just recalling good times, but actively commemorating the Lord’s acts of redemption, and purposefully recognizing His work. Looking back and seeing God’s fingerprints on our lives encourages us as we walk through difficult times, and helps to grow our faith as we face the future.
I will say, however, that it is not healthy, spiritually speaking, to live life always looking back (“Remember Lot’s wife.” Luke 17:32) But it is good to stop sometimes to recall and reflect on what God has done–in Biblical times, throughout history, in our church and in our lives. I hope you’ll do that this week.
I’m praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.