A Reminder To Remember

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935) is regarded as one of the greatest Supreme Court Justices of all time. However, the highly respected Judge was said to be a bit absent-minded.

Once Justice Holmes was riding a train when the Conductor began walking down the car, checking tickets. As he approached Holmes he saw him searching his wallet, unable to find his ticket. Frustrated, Holmes then checked each of his pockets. Still no ticket.

The Justice was more and more agitated with himself as he went through his briefcase, still unable to find his ticket.

Finally, the Conductor made his way to Holmes’ seat.

“Justice Holmes,” he said, laughing, “I know who you are. Everyone knows who you are. There’s no need to show me your ticket.”

“No, sir, that’s not the problem,” said Holmes. “The problem is that I can’t remember where I’m going.”

This morning as I read 2 Peter 3, I am reminded of the importance of remembering some important matters.

“This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.” (2 Pet 3:1-2)

The apostle Peter knew from personal experience when he heard the rooster crow the pain of failing to remember (Lk. 22:61). So, admonishing his readers seems to be a theme in this short epistle from start to finish.

“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you” (2 Pet. 1:12-13)

Remembering is not only the key to many good things,” wrote Gary Henry “it’s the preventive to many bad things.”

Ask any husband who forgot their wedding anniversary. Or his wife’s birthday. Or Valentine’s day. Forget, and you’re in trouble. Remember, and good things happen.

Over 150 times the Bible speaks of remembering both from a positive and negative perspective. “Remember Lot’s wife,” is a warning not to look back, yearning for that sinful life we’ve left behind.

After many years it’s easy for Christians to forget about the blessings of salvation and their relationship with the Lord. It’s important to remember where we came from. How we were saved. What God has done for us. And to remember daily the good gifts God gives us.

The Lord’s supper is designed to help us weekly remember Jesus. His love. His sacrifice. His cleansing blood. And his return to take us home with Him. “Do this in remembrance of me,” He urged when instituting the Supper.

Young people are admonished to remember their Creator during the days of their Youth. (Eccl. 12:1). Like the Psalmist, we need to “remember the works of the Lord (Ps 77:11). To remember His “tender mercies” and His “loving-kindness” (Ps. 25:6). And to remember His commandments and to do them (Pa 103:18).

Much of our preaching and teaching is reminding brethren to remember. Things we’ve been taught. Things we know. Things we believe. But things we need to be reminded of on a regular basis.

With the beginning of High School and College basketball practice coaches will run their players through drills they’ve done since they first began playing ball. Dribbling. Passing. Shooting. Pivoting. Blocking out. Defense. There are certain fundamental skills that every player needs to be reminded of. To practice. And to execute when the games begin.

The same thing is true spiritually. Bible reading. Prayer. Worship. Fellowship. These are fundamentals that help us to remember what’s really important.

New converts, restored Christians, and the younger generation needs to be reminded of the “words of the Lord.” Of basic Bible doctrines. The work of the church. Our personal responsibilities. And our relationship with one another.

Finally in the words of both Lewis Carroll and Dee Bowman, “Remember who you are.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

1 Comment

Filed under Christian Living

One response to “A Reminder To Remember

  1. Ken thank you for pointing out that remembering who we are is key to how we live our lives as Christians.

    When you mentioned the pain Peter felt when he heard the rooster crow three times…and how he failed to remember, I looked up the scripture reference. Then I thought about Oliver Wendell Holmes and how he forgot where he was going. He couldn’t remember because he didn’t have his ticket with him.

    When people gathered in the courtyard saw Peter they knew him right off (Luke 22:55). Why? His skin was black. His family came from Africa (Mark 15:21). And his shaved head indicated he was no longer bound to the Nazarite Vow of separation (Numbers 6:18). People knew who he was because they knew who Christ was. John the Baptist had told them, that the Christ was the one who belonged to the Bride (John 3:29). The people in that town and the surrounding ones recognized the Bride without any trouble. Her sunlit reddish brown hair and her many visits and friendship with Luke and Alexander, brothers from the Assembly gave her away. More importantly, people remembered the scriptures. They knew who she was by reading Solomon’s Song of Songs, the Psalms and the Prophets. They knew that her ROCK and her role as Bride would not be taken from her (Luke 10:42). And then when the Cock crowed three times…Peter wept bitterly and repented. He remembered who he was.

    Knowing who you are and remembering your blood, your family ties, is also important. For instance, you mentioned Lewis Carroll. It just so happens, my paternal grandfather’s grandfather was the first cousin to Lewis Carroll, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. After my Dad died, my Mom remarried into the Solly family. But she made sure our family remembered our Dad was born into the Dodgson family.

    Knowing who our Father and Mother are is important. Marriage is a sacrament in the Christian faith. It keeps blood lines clean and keeps children from wondering who their Father is. Many men and women today think marriage is old fashioned and outdated, especially for couples who are senior or not planning on having a family.

    So new Christians and people without any Christian memory are struggling to remember the Christian story and are stumbling over the Rock Jesus the Bride chose to build her church family upon (Matthew 16:18). Worldly values, patriarchal language, and Peter’s denial cause many people to stumble.

    So again, thank you Ken for reminding Christians to remember who they are.

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