Today, and on Wednesday, we especially remember all those who died / suffered in the two World Wars and later conflicts. It is important to have such specific times of remembrance since, whilst some things can get stored in our memories, others may disappear as if they never happened.
For those of us with healthy minds, we can attempt to choose which memories to hold tight and which to let loose. Some memories are particularly beneficial and can help us understand the world as it truly is, rather than believe it is something it is not. This practice of reinforcing memories was critical to the culture of ancient Israel. Have you noticed, for instance, how many times the exodus themes appear in the Psalms – and also the crossing of the Jordan, the defeat of particular enemies etc? It’s a lot. Why is that? Aside from being a very story-driven culture, the ancient Israelites realised the fragility of their memory, and God in His wisdom instructed them to shape their culture and festivals around specific moments He deemed important. So the Passover, for instance, enabled them to remember both the bitterness of captivity and the receiving of God’s amazing grace through sacrifice.
As we remain in our homes for a further period, it would be wise to help create patterns that reinforce our faith, and the memories we share – particularly those that glorify God. At the Tuesday Bible study we fondly remembered the bustle of a Sunday morning, the joy of singing together, and the marvel of the messy-beautiful group of people that would meet together because of Jesus. We still can’t do that as we would like, but the memory of God’s presence, of fellowship and community, can spur us on to endure, and also to reach out in new ways to one another.
Let us make every effort to remember the power of God when we feel powerless. Let us specifically write down answers to prayer, then read and reread them in times of trouble. But most of all, as we read our Bibles let’s remember what we are engaging with – God’s word which is made up of the testimonies of countless generations before us, who together proclaim the goodness of Jesus for those who believe. Let us never forget our God who is always with us.