This coming Monday is Memorial Day when our country remembers its patriots that laid down their lives for the sake of our country. It is a national holiday that calls our country to remember their sacrifice for us. Considering the upcoming holiday, I began to consider scriptures that contained the word “remember” but came across a scripture that in meaning; is the antonym of remembering.
Here is one of the saddest passages to be found in the Old Testament. The passage is about Joseph from the book of Genesis when Joseph was wrongfully placed in prison in Egypt. While in prison, Joseph interpreted the dream of an official who once worked for the king. Joseph told the official his dream indicated he was going to get his old job back. The man was elated! Joseph had one favor to ask of the man, just one request. He asked the man to remember him and tell the king how Joseph had wrongfully been placed in prison. The man was freed from prison and then we find these words. “Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph; but forgot him.” Genesis 40:23 Remembering and forgetting are polar-opposites. To be forgotten by others is to be devalued and imprisoned behind the bars of isolation. Yet, remembering has such power! Remembering to be with another person is to validate, honor and cherish them. Search the scriptures and you will find passages like Hebrews 13:5 which contains assurances that God has not forgotten or forsaken his people or his promises.
The message this week will begin with the Joseph story about Joseph being forgotten; but it won’t end there. I am giving a homework assignment to wrap up the message. You may not be in worship this coming Sunday, but you still have home work to do. The message will contain a challenge for all of us to remember somebody who really needs to be remembered. The challenge will be for us to think about someone who might be feeling forgotten and they’re in that personal prison of discouragement, grief, fear, loneliness and even distrust or pessimism toward God.
The message will challenge you to remember them with a phone call, a visit or a tangible gesture of encouragement and let them know they are not forgotten and that God has not forgotten them. Then in the following Sunday’s worship service; part of prayer and praise time will give folks a moment to share what you experienced to connect with someone who really needed to be remembered. My hunch is, if people do their homework, it could be a very spirit-filled service on June third. The only thing God forgets is our sin once he forgives us. Psalm 103:12 says “As far as east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.” Remembering especially those going through difficult times is to be in sync with the heart beat of Jesus Christ because he forgets no one.
It’s All about Him