It can be funny, inspiring, mundane, or embarrassing. It can bring joy, heartache, anger or regret. Each day, if you bother to look, Facebook offers to remind you of everything that graced your wall ‘On This Day’ in previous years. I admit, I rarely look, but there have been moments where my heart has almost burst with emotion; marriage, pregnancies, miscarriages, births, new beginnings. Tears and joy: memories bring both.
‘On This Day’ is a useful feature, because we’re forgetful. It’s so easy to focus on ‘today’, that yesterday blurs with all the days before it. Major moments are forgotten, replaced with now.
Amnesia is the condition we all suffer with. It’s the silent destroyer, as precious moments disappear, sometimes revived briefly during those rare times we indulge in reminiscence.
This amnesia is tragic, but worse is ‘spiritual amnesia’. By focusing on the here and now we forget what God has done for us. We get reminders at church, but how easy it is to let the words in prayers, songs and sermons pass by without comprehension. Because we fail to consider the majesty of God’s salvation at home, we’re left unawed at church.
We’re coming up to Christmas now. Carols are at the shopping centres, cards are being sent and received, and (hopefully) presents have been purchased. But will the day pass you by without feeling overcome by the grace of God? Will you forget the love that has been lavished on you? That the Almighty, Glorious One, who reigns on high far above anyone else, stooped so low, taking the humble form of a baby? A baby born to die? Will you be left unawed?
How can you stop this? How can you remember to remember? There are so many steps to take.
Here are a few suggestions:
Spend daily time with God: Read the Bible and pray. How simple, and yes, it’s the urging of probably every second sermon and blog post. But that only shows how important it is.
Plan what to pray: Praise God for different aspects of salvation. God chose you before the foundation of the world, gave his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for your horrendous sin, he opened your heart to receive the salvation you would forever refuse if he did not change you.
Let the Bible inform your prayers: Pray through the Psalms, pick up the prayers of Paul, read the words of Jesus and rejoice at all he’s done for you.
Tell others: if you’re as amazed by salvation as you are about your new phone, you’ll tell everyone! Discuss it with Christians, and remind them of the horror of sin and the joy of new life. Warn with compassion those who don’t know Christ.
Determine to remember: Every time you get that notification on Facebook to look at what happened ‘On This Day’, remember what happened on that day, as the Righteous One was crushed for your rebellion.
Let’s remember, and let tears of joy fall this Christmas.
Jesse Walz is married to Bec, and they have a three-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl. They attend Darebin Presbyterian Church. Jesse is studying theology at PTC, and Bec is a stay-at-home mum.