The Power of Memory


He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' - Luke 22:19

Our memory is powerful.

It lets us joyfully relive our most treasured moments.

It can also catapult us into our most painful experiences, leaving us with a sort of whiplash.

Our memory is powerful, but I think it is often one of our most untapped spiritual tools, particularly in times of heartache and trouble.

We anxiously ask questions like...What will God provide? What will the future be like? And we often wonder...Where are you, God? Why have you left me? When will you fix this? Why aren’t you helping?

In these moments, we can be so fixated on who we think God should be, and who we hope He will be, that we forget who He already, always, is.

And this is where an active memory would serve us well. We need to remember - actively and intentionally recalling who God is according to His promises, and what He has done. Doing this will strengthen our faith and trust in Him.

In fact, we are commanded to remember. Luke 22 tells us the story of Jesus’ last supper with the disciples, His closest followers, before He would die on the cross.

He gave them bread and wine and told them to take these elements in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19-20). These items represented his soon-to-be beaten body and spilled blood, which would be the payment for our sins. The disciples didn’t understand it then, but Jesus was preparing them for a time when He would no longer be living with them in the flesh. He was preparing them for a time when they would need to consistently and intentionally remind themselves of who God is and what He has done.

We are commanded by God Himself to remember because He knows how fickle our hearts can be. He knows our tendency to worry about unknowns rather than trusting in truths.

So how do we adopt a life of remembrance?

We flip through our Bible, and study what God has done in history. We study what He has promised in His word, and how He has kept those promises through time. We reflect on our personal lives, remembering how God has shown His character to us personally.

Additionally, we attend church to remember as a large body of people. At church, we get to remember through song, preaching, serving, community, and studying God’s word together.

We can also boost our memory by being a part of a small group, where we are surrounded by people who encourage us when we struggle to remember ourselves. We study the Bible with these same people, to remember God’s history together. And we see evidence of God’s character in the lives of other people.

There are many ways to remember. You don’t have to be an expert on the Bible, or know everything about God. Take some time today to reflect on a Bible story that you have heard, or reflect on what God has done in your own life. Ask yourself what these stories or experiences tell about God’s character.

Self-reflection is a great way to get started. And if nothing else, remember the last supper and what it represents: your sins were bought by an innocent man so that you could have a personal relationship with God, because He loves you. That is something worth remembering.

Reflection

1. Think of a struggle or tough circumstance that God has brought you through. What does your story show about God’s character?

2. How can remembering moments like this in your life help grow your faith in God?

3. What is one new step you can commit to, that will help you practice remembering more often?

Prayer

Dear God, Thank You for revealing Yourself to us through the Bible, community, and my own life. Help me to see You more in the everyday moments. Let Your long history and my personal history inform what I believe about You. Help me to worship You through remembering Your miracles and stories, and most of all, Your sacrifice on the cross. Let me live a life of intentional remembrance that propels my faith. Amen.

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