Remember

Still catching up from the lazy weekend. I hope to get S and T tomorrow, thereby getting back on track.

Saturday was R in the A to Z blog challenge. My ‘R’ is something I believe drives our lifestyle of worship and fuels our desire to chase God’s presence:

Remember.

When Jesus speaks to the church of Ephesus, He says, “You’ve forgotten your first love. Remember from where you have fallen; repent and do what you did at first” (Rev 2:4-5).

In the Old Testament, several times we see the people of God set up stones and altars as markers of remembrance, so that they and their descendants can remember what God did on their behalf.

In the Psalm 77, we see Asaph lay out a list of trials and troubles. And then he stops and focuses back on God, and writes:

I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. (Psalms 77:11 NASB)

From there, his lament turns to praise, his despair to faith in the promise of God.

Frequently in the Gospel of John, we see the disciples confused by something Jesus said. But John adds the note that “Later they remembered what is written in the Scriptures” or “Later they remembered that Jesus had said these things.”

Paul writes:

remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:12, 13 NASB)

I wrote a piece of prose-poetry a while back that expresses my thoughts as I remember.

I’ve forgotten what it meant

that You reached out to the leper.

You saw the need and You responded.

I’ve forgotten what it meant that You ignored the condemning cries

and told the sinner, “Go and sin no more.”

I’ve forgotten what You came for.

Sitting with the wicked,

yet separated by Your virtue…

I separate myself by venue.

You reach down into the gutter

and lift up the one in need.

I’d be afraid to get dirt on my Sunday best.

My Christian tie could get ruined.

And You loved those You saw

as You traveled by foot from city to city.

I try not to get caught speeding,

since someone might see the fish

or the church bumper sticker on my car.

Miracles followed You.

They don’t seem to catch up with me.

You did all You could

to make the message known,

while I get scared someone might ruin

the gold edge of my Bible as I witness,

armed with a leather-bound book.

You were armed with a heart of love,

and You died innocent between two thieves

to heal the one who was sick but never knew it.

I’ve forgotten what it meant

that You reached out to the leper,

but now I remember Your touch.

And though nine others forget,

I’m coming back to thank You,

And I’m bringing some of my sick friends.

Memory fuels worship. Sometimes we need the reminder of where we were to push us once again into pursuit of God.

What memories inspire or propel you into action in your spirituality? Let me know in a comment.

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