Recall & Remember by Pastor Devin Blankenbiller
Christmas is a season of tradition, family, joy, and celebration. We walk through this season with the purpose of remembering the amazing gift God gave to us through his Son Jesus. However, we are surrounded in the natural with disease, sickness, isolation, frustration, instability, and fear. Most of us do battle every day in our minds, to either focus on the latest news headline or to focus on God’s word.
Lamentations is a small book in the old testament which most believe was written by the prophet Jeremiah at a time when Jerusalem was overthrown by Babylon. It was a very hard time for God’s people as they were totally surrounded by death, destruction and oppression. The following exert of chapter 3 vividly display the trials the people of Judah were facing and the emotional pain Jeremiah was experiencing.
1I am the one who has seen the afflictions
that come from the rod of the Lord’s anger.
2 He has led me into darkness,
shutting out all light.
3 He has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long.
13 He shot his arrows
deep into my heart.
14 My own people laugh at me.
All day long they sing their mocking songs.
16 He has made me chew on gravel.
He has rolled me in the dust.
Wow it must have been very bad. I have never chewed on gravel but my guess is it isn’t a fun experience. As discouraging this season was for the prophet, Jeremiah makes a 180-pivot in his thinking. He continues in verse 21
21But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
This passage is where the famous hymn “Great is thy Faithfulness” comes from. The Steadfast love of the Lord is GREAT! It is NEW EVERY MORNING. The LORD (Yahweh) is our portion and completely enough in any season we face. Even the darkest times we face are as light to him (Psalms 139:12). However, we can’t touch these promises with a stick, if we do not walk out verse 21.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope.”
We must “Recall” what we know of God’s word in this time. We must choose to “Remember” His faithfulness and goodness. And Christmas is about remembering. Traditions are put in place so we remember. Times of celebration are about remembering. The word given is to remind us to remember and “recall” his faithfulness and love every single day.
WHY EVERY DAY
Every day we wake up, to another day of breath in our lungs. Every day given so that in Him we can live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). Every day we have the fresh mercy and steadfast love from God. For me, the morning is the best part of my day. A fresh start. Another beginning. Yet every day has new challenges, new disappointments, new obstacles. Every day we are reminded of the troubles and pain that we face in this world. And this is why EVERY DAY we must RECALL to our minds this truth of God. His mercy and love is new every morning. But it will only affect our lives in power if we recall it to our minds, and live in the light of that amazing promise.
I encourage you today to “Recall” to mind again this hope. Say along with Lamentations 3:21, “This I call to mind and THEREFORE I have hope.” Grab hold every morning the true meaning for Christmas, that God is with us, and we are never alone. His love is steadfast and His mercy and grace is fresh for us today.