Thursday, December 30, 2010

Memories

In a few days, if the Lord does not return, we will turn the page on another year. At the end of each year there is a message conveyed that while we are to look back at what transpired in the previous year, we are not to linger there too long. The songs we sing reinforce this idea. For example, "Auld Lang Syne" which means, "long, long ago" or "days gone by" or "old times." People burst out in song, "Let old acquaintance be forgot..." And if you are a Barbra Streisand fan you may find yourself humming, "Memories, like the corners of my mind. Misty water color memories of the way we were." Yes, when the New Year comes we wipe a tear away of what was and forget about it, moving on to what the new year will hold. A New Year in which we hope things will get better. However, God doesn't want us to forget. He wants us to remember. What He wants us to remember is His character and His works. We are to remember who He is and what He has done for us. Every time we celebrate Holy Communion Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:26, "For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes." Some may ask, "Why would God want to keep on harping on such a morbid thought as death?" The answer lies in what Christ's death accomplished which is our salvation. We are never to forget the great sacrifice that came from the Father's heart. The loving expression which gave up His sinless Son for us sinful human beings that did not deserve His grace. God's call to remember permeates the Scriptures through His direct voice as well as the voice of His prophets and Christ's disciples. As I continue to struggle with this new season of my life, I sometimes suffer "memory loss" as I cry out to God for help. Recently, in such a moment God directed my attention to the book of Deuteronomy, the "swan song" of Moses to the people of Israel. Moses says to the people, "What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to Him?  Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.." (italics mine) Deuteronomy 4:7,9a. God has been good to me in allowing me to see and experience things both in the natural and the supernatural as I walk with Him. It is so easy to get wrapped up in self absorption that we fail to do the one thing God has commanded which is to remember and never forget the greatness of our God. So as we enter a new year, what will you choose to do? Will you be like those who in the guise of "celebrating" drink themselves into unconsciousness trying to forget and wipe away the pain of the past, hoping things will get better next year? Or will you choose to remember "the things your eyes have seen and not let them slip from your heart as long as you live?" I encourage you to change your perspective and remember our God. Read Psalm 77 and join with the psalmist who out of His distress was able to declare, "I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all Your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?" (Psalm 77:11-13)
Blessings in Christ this New Year,
Pastor Sheree 

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