Let Us Remember
When I was a child I loved playing the game Memory. You have a bunch of cards face down on the floor and then you flip them over one at a time to make a match. I played this game with my grandmother all the time. It’s a fun childhood game that often serves as an early introduction to many children to use their memory. The ability to recall information seems to vary from one person to the next. Some people seem to struggle with remembering information while others appear to do it almost effortlessly.
Consider Nischal Narayanam. According to Morgan Greenwald in a blog post for Best Life, at just 10 years old, Nischal claimed his first Guinness World Record—for most random objects memorized. Amazingly, he memorized 225 random objects in a little over 12 minutes. A few years later, he also won the title of most digits memorized in one minute by memorizing 132 digits. 132 digits in one minute! National Geographic has him listed as one of the "seven brilliant brains of the world."
The human brain’s ability to retain and recall information is remarkable. And while few of us have the ability of Nischal, we can all recognize that memories are powerful and an essential part to the human experience. Not just the ability to play a matching game, recall random objects or digits, but the ability to remember events, moments and feelings in our lives. Our brains afford us the opportunity to close our eyes and almost transport ourselves to another time, another moment and to relive all the experiences of the past. How we felt, where we were, how it smelled, what made us laugh, what made us cry, are all things we can bring to mind with some of the most profound memories we store.
I bring this up in light of today being called Memorial Day. The practice of memorials is to engage this part of our brains. Yes, we’ve turned it into a national holiday that allows us to take a short vacation or invite friends over for BBQ, but the real goal is to remember. Today, we’re asked to remember the fallen soldiers who gave their lives to secure our precious freedoms as Americans. This is something I hope we all take time to do today. But I also hope it drives us deeper. To remember the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus that secured for us an everlasting freedom that will never fade. This is the memory I want to urge us all to consider today.
So do more than just call to mind the details of Jesus dying on a cross and rising from the grave. Go deeper. Where were you when this story first came to life for you? How old were you? Who told it to you? How did you feel? Maybe it’s not the first day you understood the gospel but the day it became so much more meaningful for you. What took place? Who did you share it with? What emotions did you experience? The Bible consistently teaches to remember. For the Israelites it was a call to remember how the Lord had brought them up out of Egypt. To remember His power and His act of deliverance. Let us think back on our own Egypt and the mighty rescue we experienced through Christ. Today, let us fully engage the remarkable nature of our memories and give praise for the gift of Jesus. - Jerimiah Smith, Pastor