Remembrance :: Lent 2015

2102246245_d0dfa6d8ca_zRemember.

This is the word that keeps coming to mind for me this season of Lent. As we are nearing the end of Lent, finding ourselves in the middle of Holy Week, I would like to share with you what I’ve come to find so powerful about remembrance and this command to remember in Scripture.

First of all, our brains. Neuroscientists have found that when we recall past events, certain areas of our brains light up in many of the same areas that are active when the memory was first formed. These kinds of memories are called emotional memories. It is why, for example, a person’s heart rate might increase and palms become sweaty when telling of a car accident in which a close family member had been involved. It’s why a girl might find herself blushing and becoming giddy as she recounts the story of something that occurred between her and her latest crush.

Our memories have the power to transport us to another place and time, and can generate in us very powerful emotions such as pain and stress or comfort, well-being, and love. Memories can reinforce negative perceptions and lies linked to self-worth, but they can also bolster confidence, value, and self-assurance.

What we remember and how we remember greatly impact our lives.

In Scripture, we are told to guard our minds and take care of our thoughts for our thoughts are powerful and can impact us tremendously. And, in the Old Testament especially, the people of God were told to remember the the acts of God, even by setting apart specific times each year to recall specific events where God showed up mightily on their behalf. They were told to remember and not forget.

By doing so, they remained humble and hopeful, and they were once again reminded of God’s sovereignty and love.

For Christians,  Lent is our time to remember Christ as our sacrificial lamb. We remember that while His life was important, it’s His death that means everything. His death provides us Life.

But this is what’s so fascinating to me this year: Jeremiah 31:31-34. This was one of the liturgical passages for Lent this year, and it says this:

“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah–not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts;  and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (NKJV, emphasis mine)

Track with me a moment, here. When Jesus left the earth, He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth. And in confessing Jesus Christ as LORD, the Holy Spirit comes and indwells us. This is one of the new covenant truths that we get to enjoy as New Testament believers.

As such, we receive the memories of God written on our hearts and in our minds! The Bible tells us that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in those who believe (Romans 8:11); therefore, of the many gifts we receive through the residency of the Holy Spirit is supernatural memories. The memories of the Holy Spirit become a part of our spiritual DNA when we are made new in Him. In essence then, His memories become our memories!

AMAZING!!!

So when we give ourselves to “remembering” the things of God during Lent (or any time of year, for that matter) we get to relive the mysteries of God all over again. We don’t just imagine the stories or go through centuries-old traditions; instead, we recall events that shape our personal identities intimately and irreversibly. We get to emerse ourselves in the emotions and situations of God himself through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

In pondering remembrance this lenten season, I discovered more powerfully than ever the role Christ’s death and resurrection plays in reconciling us to God. And I discovered more magnificently the role the Holy Spirit plays in uniting us to God and one other. For we all carry within us the SAME memories, from the same perspective–His perspective.

As Lent comes to a close with Good Friday and Easter Sunday just days away let us not forget. Instead, may we lean into God, and His memories of Christ, and be transformed once again into a holy people, united in His life and death, living in eternal hope through His glorious resurrection!

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