As it was Remembrance Day this past Sunday I decided to search the scriptures for a quick skim through what they had to say about remembering. There were hundreds of appearances of the word in scripture but even a quick skim revealed a number of recurring contexts.
God it seemed was always remembering his Covenant and remembering His people. His people however were often remembering how good it was back in sin and forgetting the very things God has told them to remember. Often God even had to remind His people to remember Him and all the wonderful things He had done for them!
Oh sure enough when this or that person got into a real bind because of this forgetfulness they plead with the Lord to remember them and their need and to intervene on their behalf. They sometimes reminded God of his very attributes and Nature — though it was not He but they that forgot. They begged God to demonstrate His goodness and mercy in their situation even though their own sinfulness or waywardness had caused it.
When we turn to the New Testament we don’t see much better!
Jesus had to remind his disciples that they had just witnessed the feeding of thousands. Peter remembered too late that the Lord had foretold his triple denials. And it seems that after Jesus’ crucifixion and burial everyone had forgotten that He had said he would rise again!
Jesus knew His Church would need some helps moving forward with all this remembering business. The night before he was betrayed He instituted a supper using the most staple of items present at every meal to remind His disciples that He indeed was their nourishment and life. He told his disciples to wait until they receive the Holy Spirit Who would come alongside them and empower them and remind them of everything He had taught.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)
And He left us Himself in printed text as well, the Word of God to which we can turn when we forget, or better yet which we can hide in our hearts so we do not.
Because we are a forgetful lot we are told to always to remind each other of the truths and expectations of God.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Heb. 10:24,25
This was forgetful Peter’s ambition…
“…I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.” – 2 Pet. 1:12-15
And it must be ours as well.