Remember - Monday Musing, September 14, 2021
Remember. We are asked to remember all sorts of things: passwords, telephone numbers, birthdays, and anniversaries. There is so much to remember that sometimes we forget!
Last Thursday was the nineteenth anniversary of September 11. It is hard to believe that it has been nineteen years since our country was attacked by terrorists using commercial airlines to crash into the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and a third thwarted attack. Events across the country were held last week to honor and remember 9/11.
What is the purpose of remembering? While remembering computer passwords, telephone numbers, birthdays, and anniversaries helps us navigate the present, remembering events from long-ago is done to honor the past. Scripture calls us to remember. The prophet Isaiah said, “Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me.” (46:9) In the Jewish tradition, a Passover Seder is a ritual of retelling the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt so that future generations will never forget this pivotal event. In the Christian tradition, when we celebrate communion, we recall Jesus words, “Then (Jesus) took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’” (Luke 22:19)
Our ability to remember things may not always work as well as we would like, but there will always be things that we will never forget: where we were or how we reacted to hearing news of a national event – Pearl Harbor attack, VJ Day, JFK assassination, Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, or 9/11. There are personal events such as graduations, marriages, family reunions, or the death of a loved one that only we experience and will always remember.
Jesus reminds us, “The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you.” (John 14:26 The Message) In the chorus of her song, Remember, Lauren Daigle sings, “I remember, I remember; You have always been faithful to me; I remember, I remember; Even when my own eyes could not see; You were there, always there, with me.” This reminds us of Jesus’ final words in Matthew, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (28:20)
It is comforting that we have help remembering the most important thing of all – God’s love for us and promise to be with us. Now that is something worth remembering.