Friday, September 18, 2009

Remembered, Remembering

Today, after a night of failure, I'm mulling over a beautiful post by Ann Voskamp called "Of Brokenness, Memories and Fresh Starts." She reflects on the feast of trumpets--which starts at sundown tonight with Rosh Hashanah--and the idea of remembering:
"On the first of the seventh (lunar) month, God’s people remember the past year with its wrongs and sins committed. The memories bring us low in the dust. ...At the end of a lamenting day, I understand the response of the Israelites on another Day of Remembrance. Ezra had read to them the words of the law on that first day of the seventh month and “all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law.” Knowing how far you fall short does that. Cuts you to the quick.

“Then he said to them…Do not be grieved for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10).

Remembering sins grieves, but doesn’t the joy of His covenantal, always, unwavering, right-to-the-end, love wipes away the tears? Our shortcomings cripple, but doesn’t the joy of the Lord strengthen these bent and weary bones?Our memories of who we've been, how we’ve fallen, may sting, smart… spill heart’s well. But this Day of Remembrance is about our mutual remembering. God has memories too… of a covenant written in blood, a promise etched on palms, a love that makes all things new. A love that makes us new.

For “God heard their groaning and God remembered his covenant…” (Exodus 2:24). “Is Ephraim My most precious son or a delightful child, that whenever I speak of him, I remember him more and more?” (Jer. 31:20). Yes, God has memories too… memories of His covenant not to forget or give up on His broken ones.

What comes with this Day of Remembrance? A New Beginning. The first of the seventh month is the Jewish New Year. God remembers that we are but dust and He ushers in new, unsullied time.
How thankful I am that God does not remember my sins, but instead remembers His promises to love me, carry me, complete the work He began in me, keep me to the end. How thankful I am for mercies new this morning and every morning.

I'm also drawn more than ever to the idea of celebrating Old Testament holidays. They take on new layers of rich meaning when understood in the light of Jesus, and I love the concept of adding more family ceremonies and celebrations into the year, more ways to remember Christ.

Also, if you don't subscribe to Ann's blog, you really is a priceless treasure trove of grace.


Danielle said...

Isn't she an amazing writer? One of a kind, in my book. I've been drawn to blogs of those who lean more towards the poetic lately, adding them to my "normal" blog reading. Ann's is at the top of my list, as is Chatting at the Sky and The Run a Muck. I think because they challenge me to read more slowly and inspire me to write better myself.

Amy said...

absolutely one of a kind. love her. I do enjoy the Run a Muck...have heard of Chatting at the Sky but never read it. I'll have to check that one out (although I need another blog on my feeds like I need a hole in the head!).