While leading music a couple of weeks ago Bob noticed his mother-in-law was not one of the many faces in the crowd that day. After the music portion of the worship service ended, Bob sat down beside his wife Lynn, put his arm around her shoulder, and leaned in and whispered in her ear, “Where is your mother today?”
Lynn smiled and whispered back, “Georgia . . . visiting family.” A light bulb flashed over Bob’s head, he had already forgotten he was the one that delivered his mother-in-law to the airport the past week.
Have you found yourself in a situation like that? We all forget.
As I grow older I am amazed at the things I forget. Where have I left my keys? Where did I put that important paper? Where are my eyeglasses? More often than not the keys are in my opposite pocket, the paper is positioned on the dining room table and my glasses are resting on the top of my head. Yes they are close, but my forgetfulness has stolen my accessibility to these important items.
In older times individuals would tie a piece of string around their finger so they would not forget. Over time, we advanced to magnets that held notes on our refrigerators to capture our awareness; then post-it notes came along and we posted yellow squares of paper everywhere. As technology highly developed we put reminders on computers which would sound alarms or bring pop-up windows that would jolt our attention. Today special applications on smart phones remind us of important data we quickly forget. Even for me, as I typed the last sentence my phone alarm blasted three loud tones, reminding me of my next appointment.
This problem of forgetting is not just a dilemma that has appeared in this present era in which we live. Nor is it something only associated with progressing in years. Everyone forgets. My children forget to brush their teeth, take their dirty dishes to the kitchen sink, and often purposely forget their chores. When I was a kid, I did the same thing as I am sure you did too. Now that I am an adult, I never forget. HA!
Forgetting is something that happens to all of us; thus the importance of reminders. God understands we are forgetful people.
When I was a child one of my favorite Bible stories was when Jesus fed 5,000 people with a lad’s lunch of fish and bread. I imagine what it was like for the disciples as they approached Jesus and presented this small amount of food in contrast to the huge crowd of people setting all over the hill side. These men had to marvel at the Master as He took the food in His hands and begin breaking it into manageable pieces, placing it in the baskets.
I can see Peter now, raring to go, being the first one to grab a basket and share the feast with the onlookers. As the hands of eager families reached into the basket I spy Peter counting the number of removed pieces in amazement. He rapidly returns to Jesus with an empty container only to find another full basket of fish and bread ready to be dispersed to the waiting swarm of hungry men, women and children.
Wow! That must have been one those amazing days that will forever be etched in the memory of the disciples. One of them had to think, “I’ll never forget the events of this day!”
As Jesus put them in a boat to go on to Bethsaida, He informs them He will be going up the mountain to pray after he dismisses the crowds.
As these obedient disciples dug the oars into the deep, cold waters I can see their faces warm with conversations about the powerful miracle they had just witnessed. I hear the laughter ripple across the stirring water as they discuss their reactions to the abundance of bread and fish, not to mention the 12 baskets of leftovers. I see their eyes widen with excitement as they chatter about their individual experiences of serving the mass of people. Their eyes twinkle as they discuss how every person there was filled and satisfied as if they had stuffed themselves at a Sunday Buffett . I can smell the salty air turn fishy as the storm clouds begin to darken the sky and the distant lightning accents the emergent waves. Their relaxing cruise across the lake initiated by Jesus has quickly turned into a quest for survival.
If the storm was not enough to drain their courage, they now see a shadowy figure walking toward them on the water. As the flickering lightning cuts through the darkness they become terrified with the revelation of each flash.
I picture them setting in the boat…in the rain . . . quiet … still … anxiously waiting for the next flash of light to determine if the image is approaching closer in their direction. As they discover the hovering form is drawing nearer their bravery melts into panic and fear. One of them cries out like a child scared of the dark, “It’s a ghost!” Immediately they huddle together closing their eyes.
Earlier that evening, these men courageously delivered a lunch box of food to Jesus so He could multiply it enough to feed over 5,000 people. Now they were shaking in their sandals; their faith chased away by the thunder and a ghost walking on the water. What could cause such an abrupt transition? What could cause their faith to faulter so quickly at the next storm?
Mark 6:52 delivers the answer for us, “They considered not the miracle of the loaves.” That simply means they forgot one of their most amazing moments with Jesus, which had taken place only a few hours earlier. They forgot about His miracle working power. They forgot about His faithful, unconditional love. They forgot how He forever provided for their needs. They forget about Jesus and they sadly replaced Him with a superstition---a ghost.
I have done that in my life. One minute I am rejoicing because of a providential blessing I have clearly recognized from the hand of God and the next I am anxious about how He is going to get me out of a present dilemma that looks impossible.
Sadly, I forget my Jesus is able. He is able to do anything. He is able to do the impossible in my life. He is able to love me unconditionally when even my closest companions have deserted me. He is able to provide for my needs when my resources do not meet the expectations. Like the disciples though, I have forgot Jesus . . . and on occasion I have put my faith into something that looks real, but isn’t.
Again, God understands this imperfection about us. That is why He took a pinch of bread and a sip of juice and told us to take it….in remembrance of Him. I am ashamed of the times I have forgotten about Jesus and took the reins of my life and chose fear over courage. That is why I need those three minutes each week to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for me. They not only refresh me, but they remind me to never forget the blessing of having Jesus in my life to help me face my uncertainties.
In the disciple’s fear Jesus reminds them that they are to be of good courage and then He proclaims to them that it is He who is walking on the water. Does the Lord shout out little reminders to you in your moment of weakness or fear? You fret about a bill coming due and suddenly money appears from someplace unexpected. You receive bad news from your doctor and your eyes are open to your blessings often taken for granted. You struggle with a sin you are continually drawn to and a Scripture verse pops into your thinking bringing calm to the storm.
This story in Mark 6 concludes with Jesus getting into the boat with His disciples. The gale immediately calms; the water goes from choppy whitecaps to a smooth sheet of glass. Mark tells us the disciples are no longer terrified; they are amazed! This fact serves to remind me when Jesus is in my boat the raging storms of my life will transform into a soft stillness that will bring a peace that passes all understanding. Afterwards, you will stand in amazement of such a powerful God.
Don’t you forget it, but you probably will!
In : Faron's Footnote
Tags: forget communion lord's supper remember