If you don’t remember anything else, well you will fail…but this is really important!
That was the hilarious, tongue in cheek, phrase our Greek professor would use whenever we came up to a really important lesson.
We would all laugh at his sarcasm; and then promptly forget what he taught us. Then we hoped it wouldn’t be on the test that qualified us for admission into the seminary.
One of my dear friends used to jokingly pray before each test, “Lord help us to remember the things we studied and the things we did not study”
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I was at a conference, or with a member, or in a study group where someone asked a question about a topic that I had some knowledge of, and I just could not remember the right answer!
Shucks, sometimes I even see a person that will be coming onto the campus that I have not seen in a while and I have to really rack my brain to remember their name.
I know it doesn’t get better with age, but I am sure that nothing I have done, to slow down forgetting things, has done much good to decrease the normal memory loss we all experience from time to time.
While it’s definitely not comforting, it is fairly normal, and you all get a good chuckle at my expense from time to time.
What is amazing to me, is the actual memory capacity of people that have true dementia or even Alzheimer’s which are both so unforgiving to the cerebral cortex of our brains. (www.human-memory.net/brain_parts.html)
With dementia in particular, it has been said that, “The ability to capture, retain, and retrieve recent memories is mostly lost. But longer-term memories tend to remain strong the longest.”
I personally have found this to be true with an Alzheimer’s patient I used to take communion to.
Her daughter told me if you have trouble getting her to pay attention, just act like a commanding officer and order her to listen. She will, because she usually remembers that she was a WAVE in WW2, even if she can’t remember who is sitting in front of her.
It definitely worked like a charm, and she always remembered how to take communion too.
It’s almost as if God gave our souls the capacity to remember what we desperately need from Him, even when we can’t remember Him like we should.
Today, God’s people are being clearly instructed to remember what they desperately need from Him.
Too often they wanted to remember the things they really didn’t need.
Like Ba’al the false God that promised good crops and fertility, but never delivered.
Or Moloch, the false God who required the life of their infants, promising they would avert destruction, but gave nothing in return.
Today we have similar false Gods that we frequently put our Faith in, and expect similar results; and yet we are left just as empty handed when we sacrifice to them, and make them the most important things in our lives.
When we honestly believe that we can trust the economic forecasters, and buy the investments they “guarantee” a return on.
We find instead the junk bonds and charlatan insurance sales that make money for the company and nothing for us!
When we sacrifice our children to convenience and self-centeredness, because society says so clearly; TREAT YOURSELF!
We lose the right to be responsible for their upbringing and, many times, any kind of relationship with them in the future!
Regret, because we did not remember, what we really needed; was from God all along.
Today; Andrew…Devan…and Lily; we are joining you to remember what God has done for you. So you will always remember what God provides for you!
So far your lives have been relatively without struggle.
That incredulous look on your faces right now, simply proves my point, especially amongst those more experienced than you are.
Faith Lutheran School will be far from the hardest thing you will ever have to endure.
There will be science teachers much more challenging than Mrs. Fritz.
There will be math harder than anything Mr. Fritz foisted upon you.
Your memory in the future may not come from the bible, but you will be expected to remember, way more than you will ever forget!
You will be challenged by things like: New fads, new ideology, new experiences, different cultures, and even new religions.
False Gods, Mr. Yurk and I didn’t have a chance to warn you about, will arise and will challenge your knowledge about the one true God.
Oh they will promise you wealth, happiness, comfort, pride, independence, and satisfaction with- out consequences or conditions.
They will come as friends, counselors, teachers, professors, and caregivers.
But the only thing they care about if they turn you from Jesus, is making sure you lose the salvation that comforts you today.
And to be sure, just like all of us sitting behind you and standing in front of you…well, most of us if not all of us, at one time or another, forgot the Jesus we confessed, for the sweet song of the sirens intent on separating us from our Savior.
We forgot, because we forget we are forgiven, and forfeit our best friend in the most fearsome times at all.
Oh how many times the people of God forgot their forgiving God and went after the false God’s who demand everything, provide nothing, and the end can’t forgive anything.
You know the stories; we’ve devoted ourselves to the foibles of the faulty people of God, who were so easily led astray to help prepare you for the day when those same fake Gods would try to tempt you.
Mr. Yurk and I have spent countless hours, days and weeks preparing you for the moment we could confidently push you out of the protective nest that is Faith Lutheran Church and School, and watch you go out into this harsh world ready for whatever the Devil may dare!
We have invested our personal time, and trust your faith in the Word of God to accomplish what our Lord set it forth to do, equipping you for every good work He prepared in advance for you to do.
So remember that the Word of God is not just a memory test, but the very precious Gospel of Jesus who saved you.
Let me repeat that for you…
Remember, that the Word of God is not just a memory test, but the very precious Gospel of Jesus who saved you.
Remember the houses of worship where God comes to you to encourage you with His Holy Communion which forgives you and strengthens your faith.
Remember your parents, your pastors and teachers, your fellow members of Faith who are doing everything they possibly can to make sure this church is here not only for you, but your children and grandchildren as well.
Remember, lest you forget, what a wonderful family at Faith you are a part of.
And I, Mr. Yurk, Your Parents, and Your God Parents; know you just might forget.
We know you may wander because of your sins, just like sheep do, and you may even forget everything you need from God.
But know this; THIS IS the one true God, that you confess with your mouth and believe with you heart.
THIS IS the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Israel.
THIS IS the God who redeemed His people by crushing the armies of Pharaoh in the Red Sea.
THIS IS the God who lifted up Cyrus, His Shepherd to bring his people home from captivity in Babylon.
THIS God came in the flesh and person of Jesus Christ to die for you and call you his own.
This God provided the waters of Holy Baptism to put His name on your head as His eternal child, sealed with His cross.
Remember that if you forget this God, THIS GOD will never forget you!
He will pursue you to the very gates of Hell to bring you home if He has to, and never let you forget no matter how demented your memories may be of Him….HE LOVES YOU!
My Dear brothers and sister in Christ… The Lord Be With You Always!