I was recently at a funeral, and was reminded of the extreme importance of our memory. Being able to remember the good qualities of and good times with a loved one is one of the ways in which we can handle our grief when they die. A funny story, a sweet memory, or a tender moment recalled helps us to not wallow in despair. To recall the strength, intelligence, tenderness, kindness, and integrity of a loved one is a great comfort as we consider a loved one’s life.
Memories of faithfulness
I was also reminded of how important our faith memories are. In times of trouble, uncertainty, or difficulty, it is crucial we are able to draw on our memories of God’s faithfulness in our lives. We remember the times when God guided our steps, even if we weren’t fully aware, then our current uncertainty seems less unnerving. We remember when God sustained us in a time of great difficulty, and we begin to believe our current situation will not overcome us. We remember the times when God brought us peace and comfort, and we begin to experience new peace and new comfort in the midst of our problems.
The Beatles sang that in times of trouble, the words of wisdom are “Let it be.” That obviously made for a good song, but generally speaking, we can’t simply just “let it be.” We can’t flip a switch and pretend like our loved one didn’t die or that the doctor didn’t say cancer. We can’t ignore the deadline coming, and we don’t have the answer yet.
God is great, god is good
What we can do however, is to remember God has always been faithful in the past. God’s mercy is real, we have experienced it, and He says that it is new for us every morning. We have experienced His provision in the past, we have the promises of His Word for the future. We have both our own memories and the collective memories from the saints in scriptures. We have testimonies of so many throughout history, even to the present day. We even have the memory of our childhood table blessing, “God is GREAT, and God is GOOD!” If God is great and God is good (and He is absolutely, altogether, always both), then we really can find strength for today and hope for the future.
God told His people on various occasions, to remember His faithfulness.
That was not for God’s own sake, but so His people would find faith, strength, comfort, and hope, for the present and the future.
Holy Communion is so we will remember Jesus, and all He has done on our behalf. There is a real danger to a poor memory of how God has worked. Without those memories, we will forget who He is. Our faith memories are a testimony to our God, a blessing for our present situation, and a safeguard for our future. Remind yourself of all God has done…..and tell someone else also!