Sunday, September 5, 2010

Memory Loss

As the summer closes, Brad's series of messages on the life of David also have been completed. Today's communion service served as a transition into fall. Next week is our big Harvest Festival at the Twig Town Hall, and we were all encouraged to invite our neighbors. We still need volunteers for some activities. Please call church leaders for details.

Other announcements included:
1. September 11 will be the Rummage Sale, which now will be at the church. There is a need for clothes racks and plastic bags.

2. There will be a day long Beth Moore Simulcast event on September 18. Twenty dollars also covers the cost of lunch. See Peggy.

3. We'd like to get a sense of how many kids will be involved with Sunday School so we can order materials. Contact Joanne if you did not sign up your children yet.

4. Dawn and George have been married 40 years!

The quartet became a quintet this morning as Carol joined the music team. They sounded great. After the tithes and offering was taken Pastor Brad read from Luke 14:25-33, which was followed by a time or prayer, and then the sermon.

Memory Loss

What would it be like to have complete memory loss? Brad shared the story of a man named Jimmy who lost all his memory as a teen. by the time he was fifty, he still had no memory and when he looked in the mirror he did not know who the man was whom he was looking at. Brad stated that who we are is dependent upon our ability to remember.

Today's sermon drew upon a passage from Paul's letter to the Corinthians, beginning at I Corinthians 11:23ff. In this passage are the famous words of Jesus, "Do this in rememberance of Me."

Did Jesus think His friends would forget him?

The word remember has long roots in the Old Testament. Brad cited the passage where Joshua had the 12 tribes of Israel gather stones as a rememberance of the crossing of the Jordan. The "Ebenezer" marks the places where God has helped us in our journeys.

Other passages involved with remembering include remembering the Sabbath, remembering the Exodus, remembering the years in bondage and the liberation wrought by Passover. The Christian faith is a theology of remembering.

The reason remembering is so encouraged and important is because of our natural capacity to forget God, living as if God doesn't love us, has forgotten us.

Paul, therefore, says we must avoid spiritual amnesia. When we remember, what was real before becomes real again. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a living God. He is our God.

This passage about remembering Jesus isn't just about warm memories. It is also about blood, real blood, and suffering, and death... a body broken for us.

There's another problem we have with memory. We often forget what we should remember, but also all too often remember what we should forget. Brad reminded us that God is not only the greatest rememberer, but also the greatest forgetter. As stated in Psalm 103, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgeressions from us."

There are things we need to forget. We should not be tortured by our past failings, our past sin. We live under a new covenant: Grace.

Brad shared a story about how he once blew through a stop sign in Texas on his way to a mission outreach in Mexico. The police officer who stopped him was merciful and did not write up a ticket. The result was that Brad was far more careful as a driver the rest of that summer. He did not take this act of grace for granted. Grace is not a free ticket to continue bad behavior. The policeman's mercy changed his behavior.

When Jesus was crucified between two thieves, one thief asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus replied with words that affirmed He would not forget him: "This day you will be with Me in paradise."

At the end of the sermon Brad returned to the story of Jimmy. One day the doctor treating him found him in the chapel and was amazed at what he saw. "In the moment of communion, he found his soul."

At this we shared in the breaking of the bread...

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