These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants.
So Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter concerning Purim.
- Esther 9:28-29
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
- Hebrews 13:7-8
“If you forget everything else, remember one thing; Almighty God loves you.”
- Billy Graham
“Some children were performing the passion play for our church congregation. In the play, Jesus brings His disciples to Gethsemane and tells them to wait while He goes ahead to pray (Matthew 26:36).
“’Peter, you and James and John come with me,’ said the small boy who had earned the honor of playing the part of Jesus. ‘Stay here. Stay awake with me,’ he told them.
“Then he went down stage, fell face down on the floor, and prayed just as the Bible said Jesus did. Soon he returned, found the three disciples asleep, and forgot his well-rehearsed lines. Undaunted, he ad-libbed, ‘Boy, they sure don’t make disciples like they used to.’
“Many things aren’t like they used to be, but one thing won’t change – Jesus Christ. How comforting it is to know that our Heavenly Father won’t fail us. That’s a simple, yet profound, truth that guarantees a peaceful, abundant life when we truly believe it.”
- Doris Crandall, A Comforting Thought, a devotion in God’s Abundance, edited by Kathy Collard Miller
Of the many references to “remembering” in the Bible, the Scripture from Esther establishes the Jewish festival of Purim. It is dedicated for the remembrance of when God had saved the Jews from destruction while in exile. It is sad that we establish such holidays in order to remember the reason for the holiday, but do we remember the great acts of God that were performed for that holiday to be meaningful? Do we remember God every day?
It doesn’t have to be a religious holiday to make it forgotten. President’s Day is the third Monday in February in the US. Does anyone remember the two holidays that this day replaced? When were they? Since we were celebrating two presidents born in the same month, what about the birthdays of the other 40+? That’s just birthdays. Most people do not give the reason for Memorial Day a second thought. And the celebration of Thanksgiving, not counting the football games, focuses on the Pilgrims and the Native Americans, but do we remember how God was involved in keeping the Pilgrims safe and bringing in a bountiful harvest?
The young boy forgot his lines and made a priceless quip to fill in the awkward silence. That was a lot better than simply walking off stage or walking off stage in tears.
I once sang a song on stage for two consecutive carnivals while in Germany. The group, of which I was a part, was invited to sing at the Engineer’s Castle Ball in Heidelberg. There were officer’s in dress blue uniforms that filled the main ball room, packed in like blue sardines and spilling into the extension wings. There were five generals at the head table. It came time for me to sing my song, and at the beginning of the second verse, I froze. At that moment, I could not tell you my name. I recovered about one and a half lines further into the song. I figured where the band was and jumped back into the song, finishing with no problem, the rest of the second verse and all the third. The group’s leader said that she had never heard anyone that went blank and then recover. There were slaps on my back all around, but I felt defeated.
If I start to sing that song today, without the words in front of me, I will get lost at the same spot. It is as if the neuron containing that memory is dead. The memory of those words is simply gone. I felt utterly defeated, until, about a year ago, I watched a rerun of Dick Cavett. His guest was Barbara Streisand. She described the same thing happening to her, except she just walked off stage, cancelled the remaining portion of her tour, and never explained why – until. The entertainment news people thought she just wanted to shift gears and focus on making movies, which she did. She never went back on stage to sing until teleprompters became common to keep the singer on track.
Memory is something that we do not think about, until we lose a gray cell or two. Then it gets really scary, really fast.
It is great that God does not forget us. It is great that we can count on Him. What Billy Graham said, in the quote above, is important. If we remember anything, we should remember that we are loved by God.
I have led Sunday school classes and Bible studies when prominent elderly people in the church state that they have no assurance of salvation. They wonder if there is a God. Those nearest them dissuade them from such fears, saying that they had been faithful all their lives. That may be just as much of a “Do not Judge” response as the other way around. God will decide, regardless of how faithful or how terrible we have been. Maybe the doubts of those old folks stemmed from a lack of faith and God was giving them one more chance. But could it be that they forgot God?
Simply forgetting that one thing is my greatest fear. Forever and ever, I want to remember that Jesus Christ is Lord. He loves me and I love Him.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.