Is what we remember important? Of course, we’ll say yes, it is. It might shape our cultural identity.
In the recent movie, Victoria and Abdul, Abdul explains to Victoria that from an early age he was required to commit the words of the Quran to memory. In Judaism children are expected to remember parts of the Torah from an early age. Recently, the Chinese government announced that citizens should memorize the wisdom of their current President Xi in addition to the thoughts of their historic Chairman Mao.
On a spiritual level, however, our destiny is not shaped by what we remember, but by who remembers us.
One of the two thieves, who were crucified at the same time as Jesus Christ, asked whether Jesus would remember him in the kingdom to come. Would there be any hope for him?
It’s interesting that the thief did not tick all the boxes when it comes to how some Christians might classify a believer. As far as we know, he had not repented of his sins, been baptized, and expressed faith in action. In fact, we know very little of him other than that he was a thief. What we do know is that Jesus was dying on the cross not just generally for the whole world but also for him personally, and that, without understanding everything perfectly, the thief turned in desperation to Jesus and cried out to him, just as we might do today.
On the cross Jesus remembers us and re-assures us that, no matter what we’ve done and how bad life gets for us, in him we have a new identity and a new life beyond compare.
If you remember anything, let it be that Jesus remembers you.
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