Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 14, 2019
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David – that is my gospel. 2 Timothy 2:8
Remembrance is a significant word for the Christian faith, for good or for ill. For the people of Israel, their failure to remember the promises of God was the root of many of their struggles. Quick to forget God, they turned on him and said “We had it better in Egypt! Did you just bring us out here to die” (Exodus 14:11)?
Mindful of this tendency, Paul uses his final words of wisdom to Timothy to call him to the daily remembrance of Jesus Christ. You might read these words and think, “Really Paul? Is this really the best use of your time? How could Timothy possibly forget Jesus?” However, to those questions I believe we must say, without exception, that this is the most important and central thing Paul ever said! Whatever else you and I do or become or give ourselves to, we must forever be rooted in the centrality of Jesus Christ- his incarnation, his life, death, and resurrection.
One reason why we may struggle with these words is we have a limited imagination around the word “remember.” For us, we hear this word and primarily connect it to the idea that we know something exists. Imagine you are at a family gathering of distant relatives and your mother comes over with someone you haven’t seen since childhood and says, “Do you remember my great Aunt Rose?” And while you’re aware of the family story enough to place her in the family tree, Aunt Rose has had no significant impact on the story of your life in any real or substantial way (though I’m sure she’s a lovely person!).
This is not the kind of remembrance that Paul has in mind when he tells Timothy to “remember Jesus Christ.” For Paul, this is less of a question and more of a statement, a call to action. He’s saying, “Remember Jesus in the way you live your life, day in and day out!” Christian remembrance is not a distant knowledge nor is it a nostalgic memory of a fond and distant moment, such as your favorite Christmas gift from childhood.
We remember Jesus by bringing into the present God’s past actions. We look back to find strength for the present and hope for the future. Christian remembrance is anything but passive- it is bold, active, and Spirit filled!
Father, help us to remember Jesus Christ daily through our words and deeds, believing in the power of his resurrection to give us hope and a future. Amen.
What does it mean for you to remember Jesus Christ in your own life this week?
We remember Jesus by bringing into the present God’s past actions. #WisdomHunters #remember #Jesus
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