Friday, April 6, 2012

An Easter Letter from Pastor Bruce April 8, 2012

Will We Remember?
Remember… The theme of our Palm Sunday Cantata was “Remember”. I wonder though, will we remember?
Recently, I was looking over some photos and videos of my grandkids when they were first born. Such memories make me smile and think of the relationships that have been built with those same grandkids over the past few years. When putting together a funeral service last week, I took a moment to reflect over the funerals that I’ve done in the last 16 years, as well as those in the last 6 years that I’ve been here at Mt. Pleasant. Those services represent lives full of memories made with family, friends and even some memories that I shared with these saints that have gone on to glory.
While such memories make us smile and may even bring a tear to our eyes, this wasn’t what the lines from the cantata called us to remember. We have been encouraged to stop and give thanks for the Lord’s faithfulness to us in our own lives, but even beyond that, to give thanks for all that He has done in the past—before our time. The pages of Scripture are filled with the faithfulness of God. From Genesis to Revelation, we have one account after another of God’s gracious dealings with man, God’s love for His own, and how that love has been expressed from the garden to the cross.
I believe at least part of the reason we have so many stories of ancient times are so that we see the pattern of God keeping His promises, caring for and teaching His people about who He is, and what He is like. We read about promises made, and then later read about how those promises were kept. We read a prophetic word about the Messiah, and then later read about how that prophesy was fulfilled. We read one continuous story of God’s plan to redeem mankind because of the love God has for us and because of our desperate need for redemption.
The final verse of the last song, which Bill Pedersen sang as a solo, and was written by Tommy Walker, went like this: “I still remember the day You saved me, the day I heard You call me by name. You said You loved me, would never leave me and I’ve never been the same!”1 Can we still remember back to that time? Maybe we can’t remember the time or the place, but hopefully we still remember what it was like to feel loved by God, to feel the weight of our sin lifted from our shoulders, and to sense the closeness we now have with Christ, contrasted with the separation we felt before. Remember what that was like; remember how grateful you felt when you were saved. Remember how unworthy you knew you were, but the grace was offered still.
Remembering will cause us to be a more grateful person; to have a greater sense of dependency on Christ alone for our salvation, and the relationship that we now enjoy with Him. Remembering will help us to remain more humble, and perhaps a bit less inclined to look down our noses at someone else still struggling with their life. Remember when you were in their place, lost and alone and without any real hope in this world. Remember how glad you were when someone shared Christ with you!
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, (I’ll be hitting the big 5-0 this year). Maybe it took 3 months of reviewing the songs of this cantata to jog my memory. Whatever the case, I find the theme of “Remember…” a helpful exercise. Maybe you will too. I also encourage you to do some of that remembering while in prayer too. It will help your prayer life, I promise. Remember the time……..
By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Bruce Jacobsen

1 Vader, Rouse, Apsinall 2012 Remember, Where the Past Ends and Forever Begins, Praisegathering Music Group 83-84