Word for Wednesday… Remembered
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.Genesis 8:1
The phrase, “God remembered Noah,” has always struck me as odd, as it implies that God forgot about him and his fellow passengers. Then again, I wonder if it says more about how Noah was feeling than what God was thinking. I’m sure Noah felt forgotten by God, bobbing about for weeks on what must have seemed like an endless ocean. What matters is that God had not forgotten about him, and when he “remembered,” the waters finally began to slowly recede, paving the way for Noah’s exit and a “do over” for God’s creation. This is the first of a few instances where the Bible mentions God “remembering,” and it’s almost always a good thing. God remembered Abraham when he destroyed the cities of the Plain (Genesis 19:29). God remembered Rachel and Hannah, enabling them to conceive (Genesis 30:22, 1 Samuel 1:19). God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when he heard their descendants crying out in Egypt (Exodus 2:24, 6:5). The Psalms testify to these “rememberings” on multiple occasions.
To this long list we could add the story of Christmas. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, does as much. After regaining his voice shortly after the birth of his son, Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to prophesy. Speaking in reference to the coming birth of Jesus, he said “Thus [God] has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant” (Luke 1:72). Every year at Christmas we remember that God remembered us by sending Jesus to offer us the gift of salvation, and we remember God’s promise to remember us once more by sending Jesus back to earth to reign as King forever. Those reminders fill us with love, joy, hope and peace this Advent Season.
Not only is Christmas a time to be reminded, it is a time to remind others that they too have not been forgotten. In every community there are folks who feel forgotten, especially this time of year. Those who are homebound, those who are residents of nursing homes and other extended care facilities, and those who are mourning the loss of a loved one are just a few examples. This Christmas, make a special effort to remind those who are feeling forgotten that they are remembered by God. This reminder is both the best gift that has ever been received and the best gift that has ever been given.