We Didn’t Sell Our Memories…

Today was a day of celebration – we closed on the sale of our old home and are now officially in our new home, no longer with any responsibilities at the old place. In a phrase, it felt good! But during the closing I couldn’t help but ponder all the things that we experienced during our almost 13 years in what we thought would be our retirement home.

The day we closed on the purchase, 13 years ago, Janet and I stood in the front hall and dedicated the home to the service of God and prayed that all who entered would be blessed and that the home would be a sanctuary – full of peace and hope. When we moved in, we didn’t have any grandchildren – now we have 4 grandsons. Two of our children were married while we lived there – and we experienced both incredible highs, and lows, during our lives in that house. I spent years in seminary, many times working through the night, and Janet would wake up and come get me to make sure that I was okay. We held a Bible study, with the exception of last summer, every year that we lived there. What memorable times we had!

We added hardwood floors, re-decorated, updated bathrooms and celebrated successes. We also mourned the loss of loved ones – at least four of them – in the years since we moved in. As I reflect on the past this evening, it was a season of change. In fact, we never thought we would move on. We were happy there – until last fall when we first saw the home we now live in. And suddenly we were blessed to find a place that really fits our needs even better than our last place. It was a miracle; and a blessing.

While Janet and I were at dinner last evening with two of our grandsons, Cooper, the youngest one, remarked that he was sad that we had moved. He really couldn’t articulate his thoughts other than he had great memories there; and it was the only home of ours that he had ever known. I reminded him that while we have sold the house, we haven’t sold the memories. He immediately smiled and I could tell that he understood… And of course, we are already creating great memories at the new home; and the next season of our lives begins…

The apostles had much the same situation during their time with Jesus before His ascension. They had spent more than 3 years with Jesus, learning from Him and traveling the countryside with Him. They saw miracles and were taught about what Jesus expected from them. Of course, in the beginning, they didn’t realize that some day He would be moving on – to be replaced by the Holy Spirit. But just because Jesus returned to heaven didn’t mean that the apostles forgot all they had learned at His side. They had their memories – and those memories served them well as they scattered along the countryside to spread the Good News. And let’s not forget the beginning of the church recorded in Acts 2. Peter preached the first real sermon and many came to know Christ and be baptized. It was the teaching of Jesus and the remembrance of those lessons that allowed the apostles to reach out across the known world.

Our verse for this evening comes from Revelation, the last book of the Bible. We are told in Revelation 3:3, “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.” That’s great advice for all of us – and something we should always remember. We have memories of what we have been taught and what we have heard about Jesus, His Father and the Holy Spirit. My encouragement is that you will pay attention to and remember the lessons you have learned throughout your life. Because those lessons about God, all the way back to when you first believed, form the basis of your faith. My prayer is that if and when you should ever forget about the awesome nature of God, He will send you a gentle reminder and make sure that you stay connected to Him all the days of your life – after all, you have your memories… Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

 
 
 
 

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