THE service at Crediton Methodist Church on Remembrance Sunday was led by Cathy Jerrard and her theme was “Remember what the Lord has done”.
Cathy told a story of a politician who attended a meeting at a hotel.
At the end he could not find his car keys and then thought that he must have left them in the ignition.
When he went to the car park he could not find the car and thought it had been stolen.
He rang the police to report the theft and some time later rang his wife to tell her the car had been stolen.
There was silence then the wife explained that she had driven him to the meeting and dropped him off at the hotel.
Memory is a funny thing, isn’t it?
In the reading from Joshua God commanded the Israelites to cross the River Jordan.
After miraculously escaping from Egypt 40 years earlier, the river was the final obstacle to entering the land that God had promised them.
The Jordan was in full flood but God stopped the flow of water miraculously so the Israelites could cross on dry land – all two million plus of them.
We heard that God instructed that representatives from each of the 12 tribes should take rocks from the riverbed to erect in the Promised Land where they had crossed.
These 12 stones were to serve as a memorial to God’s love and miraculous assistance, a reminder of His goodness and faithfulness – not just to those who witnessed the miracle, but also to their children.
God knew that they would forget, just as He knows that we, like the politician, are apt to forget.
God knows the hearts of mankind. He knows that we can be a fickle lot.
The Israelites had witnessed amazing miracles throughout their exodus from Egypt – the parting of the Red Sea, the manna and the quails.
Nevertheless, they still forgot - they grumbled and still said things like “we were better off as slaves in Egypt”.
Even worse, they got into idol worship because they forgot God’s faithfulness and lost sight of trusting in God.
We, too, can forget. In times of adversity and difficulty it is easy for us to worry and fret and forget how good and how faithful God is.
Of course it is not terribly practical for us to set up piles of stones, but maybe we can adopt the principle of marking God’s goodness to us.
We should count our blessings and actively and mindfully mark God’s goodness and thank Him every day.
So, when difficult times come, we have learned to trust and rely totally on Him.
Some people find it helpful to write things down – to keep a journal of blessings and answered prayer that we can look back on and remember that when the chips are down, God will not let us down. He is always faithful. We just need to keep trusting.
In the reading from John we heard “Greater love has no man that He gave up His life for His friends”.
That is exactly what Jesus did for us. Allowing himself to be crucified He broke the power of death and then gloriously rose again, giving us the sure and certain hope of resurrection and new life.
Even though we sometimes forget what the Lord has done for us, He will not forget us.
He lovingly holds us in the palm of His hand.
We are His friends whom He loves and He will always act in our very best interests. We need not be afraid.
Let us remember what the Lord has done and, like Joshua, declare “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.