Life is full of delicious ironies! This summer as I was praying about my summer reading list, I recalled how much I had enjoyed the writings of C.H. Spurgeon. Years ago I discovered this ‘Prince of Preachers’ and had lived on a diet of his daily devotions and voraciously devoured his sermons. I downloaded the ‘Complete Works of C.H. Spurgeon’ onto my kindle and have been enjoying the rich and meaty sermons once more. The text of the latest sermon is itself about ‘recalling’ “Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the message Spurgeon wonders how it is that we require such a command. How is that we who owed such a debt should forget our Redeemer! He goes on to tell us that ‘in our flesh’ we are terribly forgetful and unmindful. God knows this and time and time calls his people to remember. Jesus does not suggest we remember but institutes remembering as the vital activity of the Church gathered. Spurgeon reminds us that we are not to solely remember the acts of God, in Christ but that we are to remember (call back to mind) the person Jesus. Of course we remember the cross but we recall his humility, purity, authority, love, grace… as evidenced in the Gospels. We remember our own unique encounter with this Jesus. We remember him crucified, and incarnate, glorified and soon coming. We remember him compassionate and just. We do all this because we forget so easily and the consequences of forgetfulness are profound and dire.
This summer I spent time with family. We recalled things from our past. Many of these events I had not thought of in years. It is only in the company of others and especially as we tell stories that we battle the stupor of forgetfulness. This is why we need community. We encourage and remind one another and in doing so bring the revival required to continue to ‘press on’.
Last week was the 10th trip to Deer Island and it was filled with many memories. Linda and I listed off the 50 different people who have gone over the years. We sadly recalled those who have died. Of course we recalled Mark who was murdered hours after our trip, one year. (a murder that has never been solved) I recalled my shattered jaw and the long ambulance ride. There was a flood of wonderful and melancholy moments.
As we recall the events of our lives and God’s role in them we find we can trust him with the challenges of today. As I recall his call and why I do what I do I am encouraged to continue. To paraphrase Eugene Petersen, God calls me to a long obedience in one direction. It has been quite a ride and I believe will continue so.
Another part of my summer reading has been the book by David and John Ferguson “Finding Your way Back to God” I am really excited about the potential of this book and the accompanying Study Guide. I am formulating plans to develop a ‘course’ for our Street Hope gang based on this material. It strikes me as a really simple and story based way of evangelism. It is based on a series of 5 questions that all of humanity are asking. It is based on the famous story of the Prodigal Son. Purchase of these books and perhaps a video are not in my current budget and could be as much as $300. If you would like to help with this I would be grateful. I am a bit behind on my budget as it stands, but I remember him who is faithful!