“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10, NRSV)
My wife, Megan, was out of town.
Before she left, there were many conversations about what needed to happen while she was gone. She reviewed many of them with me. Our daughter’s school was having a trunk or treat. Megan had organized the costumes for the girls. I was reminded of what to do and what was needed. Then, we talked about Sunday worship. I was preaching and leading worship for her. Megan reminded me that I needed to take care of the bulletins. We had a conversation about what was supposed to happen in her absence. And I’ll be honest. I was a little clueless.
This is what happened. She said, “Remember, we talked about XYZ.” I said, “Yes, I do remember that.” And she said, “This is why we were talking about it.”
I went to the store to pick up a few things, including apples and something for dinner. After I checked out, I got in the car and headed home. And by the time I arrived at the house, I realized that I forgot the apples and something for dinner.
We went to the trunk or treat, we parked in the parking lot, and walked over to do the trick or treating. And suddenly it dawned on me. Megan told me we weren’t supposed to park in the parking lot because that’s where the trunk or treating was taking place.
The truth is, we forget things. Sometimes it’s trivial things like I forgot to get the apples. Other times we forget bigger things like showing up for a doctor’s appointment or that your wife already told you about not parking in the parking lot for trunk or treat. (I did remember the bulletins.)
Here is another truth. From time to time, each of us suffers from a bit of spiritual amnesia. We forget what God has done for us and promised to us. And we forget that Jesus has called us to be his disciples.
We forget our true identity in Christ.
Thankfully, God knows human nature so well, God made plans for when we forget. There are signs of grace, such as the sacraments, that remind us we are human and God is God. They remind us that as we strive to change and become more Christlike, the human condition still affects us. And we need Jesus.
These signs remind us that God loved us so much that Jesus was sent to save the world. What are the signs that remind you of God’s love?
Lord God, thank you for the many signs you place in our lives to remind us of your great love. Thank you for loving us when we forget and extending mercy to us when we are at our worse. Amen.