Last Sunday I had one of those “Remember!” moments. The earliest ones that clearly come to mind happened when I was in high school when, as I was leaving the house for a good time with friends, my dad would say: “Remember who you are.” I’m sure there were more detailed reminders before this because, by my high school years, this phrase was a kind of verbal “shorthand” between us, by which he reminded me that I was a “representative” of the household, a visible manifestation of what it means to be part of his family, his son. Through the years Abba God has given me similar “shorthand queues” to not forget Whose I am. It happened again last week.
Our conversation over the past month or so about the reality of Papa’s love for us, our (near desperate) need to experience His love for us personally, and our responsive obedience had brought us to another essential point in our personal awareness—we are His. This is expressed in various ways in Scripture, such as the words of Solomon’s Song (chapter 2), converted to the more modern lyric as “I am my beloved’s, and He is mine, His banner over me is love.” But in the “me first” world in which we live, our thoughts are often corrupted—as evident by our speech: Let me check my schedule; well, at my church we . . ., how was your day? I know, I know: these are just expressions! But words are powerful in their influence, at times shaping the way we think and how we perceive life’s moments. It is possible for us to know something to be true, even be fully convinced (in contrast, perhaps, to believing it to be true), yet not behave in a way consistent with that truth. I’m not the only one who has done that, right? I know I’m not! This is one of those convicting points of life where a truth shared by Donald Miller in Blue Like Jazz must be faced: “We don’t believe what we say we believe, we believe what we do.”
So, as of last Sunday, I had been thinking and praying—on and off for a week—about how to express the love-based truth: You are not your own, you have been bought with a price—the precious blood of Jesus. The words are fairly familiar to most of us, perhaps so familiar that even now you react with something like: “Yeah, yeah, I know that.” I know it too, but I don’t always live it and, thus, if I apply God’s criteria as expressed through Miller I come up short: If I don’t live it, I don’t really believe it (even if I “know” it). So, anyway, I’ve been thinking about this, ruminating on it, giving thought to how to express it and . . . walking (late) into a worship service I’m offered a little plastic cup half full of pale red liquid and a tiny, tiny, square cracker. It has been a long time since I Remembered Him with one of those little cups: For the past several years I have Remembered Him in procession, been offered “Christ’s Body, given for you.” which I received and dipped into a cup, extended with “Christ’s blood, shed for you.” (followed usually by my response, “Walk in New Life.”). Over those same years I have also invited others, many times, to lift their glass and Remember Him over a full meal, or with something baked from grain and a 4 ounce glass of dark reddish-purple juice as part of a meal. . . . But last Sunday I was standing there, holding that little cup and tiny cracker when, as the band played and choir sang a song I didn’t know, Papa reminded me of another day, years before, . . . so I wouldn’t forget to remember.
His reminder was simple, yet profoundly significant for me. He simply said, put a drop on your right ear. I don’t know if this is because in my reading the events of Aaron’s anointing were not that many weeks ago, or whether something else which triggered the memory of a time I was privileged to regularly lead others in Remembering Him and (at least one time I faintly recall) invited each one to place a touch of the Remembrance on their right ear and right thumb, or whether this was simply His way of saying—Let Me remind you, before you remind others. Having often encouraged folks to listen, then do what Papa is saying, I did what He told me to do. I touched my finger into the pale red Remembrance and touched that drop to my right ear lobe. “You are Mine. You are not your own. You have been bought with a price, My precious blood. . . . Because I love you that much.”
Father God, Abba, Papa, . . . Dad. Remind us regularly please, in ways especially meaningful to each of us personally, that we are indeed a dearly beloved, blood bought, child of The King.
Remind us, so we won’t forget to remember.
Thank You Jesus.