This is the time for Remembrance and this year - like so much in these times - it has been different. Remembrance Services were so small and many people across the world were on their own as they could not come together. This annual act of remembrance has had to be more individual than at any time over the past 70 years.
In the Bible, one Hebrew word for remembrance is ‘zakar’. It has a full, rich meaning - of remembering someone, and doing something about it. This is not a reminiscence or passive thinking about a person or situation.
God ‘remembered’ Noah and those in the ark and He sent a wind across the earth to make the waters recede (Genesis 8:1). In Egypt, Joseph asked the cupbearer to ‘remember’ him to Pharaoh. He wanted the cupbearer to do something to help his release.(Genesis 40:14). The psalmist often said God had forgotten, which meant that God did not seem to be moving on their behalf or remembering them. God first gave His name ‘I Am’ to Moses to be remembered. ‘This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations’ (Exodus 3:14, 15).
Christ, on the day of resurrection, caused the two on the Emmaus Road to remember scripture concerning Him. Even before full revelation came to them we read that their hearts burned within them as He spoke and stirred their remembrance. As they remembered the words of the prophets they began to hope, where before they had been hopeless.
Are you actively using this great gift of remembrance that every child of God has been given? Is your heart beginning to burn within you? Even if you are sad and discouraged like the two on the road to Emmaus you can do as the psalmist did and say, ‘Now I am deeply discouraged but I will remember you’. (Psalm 42:5)
As you are alone in these days, spend time remembering until your heart begins to burn, despite your situation.
Remember, as we have retuned to church but seem distanced from others in these unusual services. Allow God’s gift of ‘zakar’ to flourish in you in these unusual times. Follow Christ’s one request in the communion feast - ‘Remember Me’. And allow your heart to burn in worship and love more than ever before.
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