Before I left the house when I was a child, my mother would echo the advice of her mother: “Remember who you are.” This meant that as I journeyed I should check my decisions and intentions by holding them up to my heart and making sure they matched. “Don’t get away from yourself,” her words suggested. “I know you. And you know you. Live in that truth.”
The rhythm of the story of God is one of exodus and homecoming. From the moment the first humans leave the garden to the prophesied reunion of every bowed knee and confessing tongue, people of faith have been roaming and returning. Is this a symptom that we are “prone to wander,” as the hymn says? (UMH, no. 400). Possibly. Is it a mimicking of creation’s tempo—the coming and going like beach-side waves, full moons, and heart beats? Maybe. Whatever accounts for it, there is a theme in our faith to remember, to recall, to return.
The word remember is mentioned in scripture around 166 times. God tells people to remember the covenant, remember the sabbath, remember commands and monumental days, remember your history, remember the former things, remember the words of Jesus, and that the Lord is our God. And God remembers Rachel and the promises made with Abraham and Jacob, remembers dedicated servants and the offspring of the faithful, remembers the great love for humanity, to be merciful, and to show kindness, remembers David, and remembers you and me.
To remember in scripture is to come home to what is true. Remembering is really about the relationship that is acknowledged and edified when we are called back to the truth of who and whose we are. Spend time today allowing God to recall within you the truth about yourself in Christ Jesus, and then spend some time recalling to God the truth about God.
Holy Parent, you remember me. And I remember you. Let us live this next moment in that truth. Amen.
Second Samuel records the final words of David. David takes comfort in the covenant that God has made with his family, which must be continued by kings who will honor God and rule justly. The psalmist sings of this same covenant with David’s family and the same necessity to follow God’s decrees in order to rule well. Revelation opens with a vision of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant, the King to rule over all kings for all time. Many expected Jesus to set up a political kingdom. Yet in John, Jesus tells Pilate that his kingdom is not an earthly one. This week let us thank God that the kingdom is based not on the exercise of power but on Jesus’ example of serving others.
Read 2 Samuel 23:1-7. What characteristics would you include in a description of a just leader? Where do you see those characteristics in world leaders today?
Read Psalm 132:1-18. What is your vision of Paradise? Who will be seated at the table with you?
Read Revelation 1:4b-8. How do you bear witness to the “Alpha and the Omega”?
Read John 18:33-37. What is your understanding of what it means to live in God’s kingdom?
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