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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stones of Remembrance

While having a conversation with someone the other day, I began recalling the story of my grandmother’s conversion. She was a wonderful woman who didn’t come to know Christ until she was 80 years young. I remember how a neighbor came and sat down with her and shared the Good News of Jesus Christ. What a glorious day it was for her and our whole family.

Thinking about that caused me to remember some other great events in my life. I have been so blessed throughout my years to have some great times with family and friends. In the midst of turmoil, it is good to have joyful memories to recall. No matter what happens, I will always have these embedded in my mind.

While certainly not being one who totally understand all of the complexities of the human mind, I’ve come to learn that major events of joy and pain cause a chemical to be released in the brain that in essence burns the experience in. What is so miraculous is that even many years later, you can still remember the smells and sounds of the occurrence. It’s not just confined to the emotional tag either. Many times a sound or a smell can trigger the emotional tag.

In the Old Testament they had sites where they piled some rocks and named the place after the event. They were called stones of remembrance. Everyone around knew what took place there. Some where places of great joy or victory. There were a few places where the memory was not one of happiness but of defeat or mourning.

This got me to thinking….why would you want to remember the bad things? Wouldn’t it be much better to only focus on the happy moments? I for one don’t want to think about the bad things that have happened.

I don’t believe we should focus on or dwell in the times of pain or regret but I do believe it is healthy to visit those places. Just don’t stay there. There is, however, one place of suffering and shame that we could all probably do better by visiting more often….the Cross of Christ. In fact, during the Passover, He broke the bread and gave them drink symbolizing His body and blood. He even said “as often as you do this, do it in remembrance of me.” What happens here is that a horrible act is remembered and because of that joy is birthed within. While I believe in being reverent during communion, there is also something to the joy that erupts within. His sacrifice bought my freedom. His death gave me liberty. His atonement brings me life eternal. For the joy that was before Him, He endured the cross.

I invite you to take some time to remember. Remember the good things. And old song I recall hearing in church asks God to remind me. It says to “roll back the curtains of memories now and then. Show me where You’ve brought me from and where I could’ve been.” Get into the discipline of taking communion at home once in a while. Remember the Cross. Remember the sacrifice. Remember Him.

This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope.
Lamentations 3:21

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