I remember the days of old,
I think about all your deeds,
I meditate on the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. (Psalm 143:5–6)
Time and time again – throughout the entirety of the biblical story – people of faith are called to remember. In fact, much of the life of faith is about remembering – remembering who we really are, remembering who God is, remembering all that God has done. And I find three things especially interesting about these calls. First, it seems to me that we have to be called to remember because we’re constantly forgetting. We get so wrapped up in the humdrum of everyday life that we forget who we are, who God is, and what God has done. Second, these calls to remember always seem to come during times of distress. In this case, the psalmist calls her community to remember as enemies approach and threaten the well-being of her people; and do we really need to mention the distress of our own time and place?
But third, in the life of faith, memory is from whence our hope comes. When we remember who we are, who God is, and what God has done, God sparks the hopeful expectation that we are indeed people of faith, that God is indeed mighty in strength, and that God will indeed do wonderful things once more. So let us heed the psalmist’s call today. Let us stretch out our hands to God and remember. – rc