“Remember” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as simply: “keep in your mind and recall it at will; not fail to do something necessary.” This is a very good and practical definition of a key word in our vocabulary. It is an especially important word for Christians.
The Old Testament offers a continual challenge for believers to be ones who “remember” what God has done in the past and therefore be hopeful about His promises for the future. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul amplified the need for us to “remember.”
One of those places where the challenge to remember is set forth is in II Timothy 2:8: “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel” (NKJV). This one verse is a brilliant reminder for Christians today to keep the message of Jesus Christ at the forefront of our daily lives. This was needed in the time of Timothy, and it is a crucial need for us in our day.
Recently, I was in New York City for a vision trip concerning future partnerships in that strategic metro area. During one late afternoon, we passed by the site where the memorable Twin Towers once proudly stood. A rebuilding project is underway, after a lengthy debate as to how the people who lost their lives would be “remembered.” The plan is to have something of an unveiling by the 10th anniversary of the terrible event, we now simply call 9/11.
As I reflected upon the site and considered the importance of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, my mind began to be filled with recollections. I quickly recalled where I was when I heard the dreadful news of the attack on America. I revisited the painful sights and sounds so prominent that infamous day.
Later, I learned that 9/11 is on Sunday this year. It will be a day of worship for Alabama Baptists and so many others of faith. My mind raced through the possibilities of what this worship time could mean.
First, for believers, this is a time to REMEMBER THE MASTER. Jesus is Lord and Master for all times, not just the good times. On this Sunday, we can REMEMBER JESUS CHRIST in ways which could be comforting and challenging to people. Let’s have a REMEMBER SUNDAY and begin by remembering who Jesus is and what He has done on the cross and through the resurrection.
Second, we need to REMEMBER OUR MISSION. What better day would there be for us to remember our One Mission, the Great Commission? When we remember the Master, we remember His Mission for us. My plans are to be in New York City for the occasion and to seek to help a designated church start in that city. However, you don’t have to be in NYC, to remember the Great Commission!
Third, we also can FOCUS ON OUR MINISTRIES on this historic day of reflection. Because we have the Great Commission as our mission, we have various ministries emanating from the challenge of our Lord. This is a day which can be a time of creative emphasis upon reaching out to others. Perhaps people will not be as inclined to be in church as they were on the Sunday following 9/11, but we should claim the opportunity anyway. Pray with me about this idea. Plan for an evangelistic and missions emphasis for 9/11.
Fourth, this 10th anniversary can be a time to “RE-MEMBER” OUR MEMBERS. So many members of our churches are inactive. Consider planning an inreach effort to gather up those who have become slack in attendance and participation. 9/11 can be more than a reflection over the scars of the attack; it can be an occasion of rededication on the part of God’s people.
Okay, I hope I have made some sense with this idea. Alabama Baptists seize the moment! Remember the Master! Remember the Mission! Remember our Ministries. Re-member our Members. Don’t let this be just a time of remembering history; let’s make it about His Story!