Mechanisms of Remembrance
[Our brother David Barker gave me this idea last week when he presided over the Lord’s Table when he talked about the fact that God uses symbols as mechanisms of remembrance. I wish to give credit where credit is due.]
The Heavenly Bodies. Before God created the universe there was nothing. The Bible tells us that the earth was void meaning emptiness (Genesis 1:2). There was no need for time and God certainly was not bound by it (II Peter 3:8). But when a spiritual God created a physical earth containing a physical man He decided to give the creation the sun, moon, and stars to view and to serve as “signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Genesis 1:14). With creation came time and God saw the need for signs to teach us how to keep time. As we view these heavenly bodies in wonder may we also remember the sign of God’s claim to creation of our universe in six days. It did not occur through any big bang or other natural phenomenon.
The Rainbow. God was not pleased in the destruction He chose to bring on the earth in the days of Noah. It was because the imaginations of the hearts of men were evil continually and because all flesh had been corrupted that God brought a universal flood to cleanse the earth (Genesis 6:5, 12). After the rains ceased, the waters receded, and Noah and his family worshipped God there was placed in the clouds a symbol to remember. God said that the rainbow would be the symbol of His covenant with the earth that “the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh” (Genesis 9:13-15). When we see the rainbow today it is to remember this promise, but also the warning to flee the evils that brought on that destruction. We must remember that God will punish those who disobey Him with fire (II Thessalonians 1:7-8).
The Lord’s Supper. There is no more beautiful doctrine or dogma than that of the salvation provided by the grace of our Lord. Through the sacrifice of His body He provided the hope of remission of sins (Colossians 1:20-23). This act is memorialized through two symbols. The unleavened bread representing His body offered and the fruit of the vine representing His blood shed constitute the Lord’s Supper which was taught through word and example of Christ and His apostles (Mark 14:22-26; I Corinthians 11:23-27). This is to be taken on the first day of the week as is taught by New Testament example (Acts 20:7). When we partake of this supper we are to remember what these symbols mean: that our Lord died not for His sins but for ours!
The Body of Christ. The Kingdom of God has been present on the earth since the 1st century (Mark 9:1). That happened, as was prophesied, on the day of Pentecost recorded in the book of Acts (Acts 2:16-21). New Testament Christians are called into one body (Colossians 3:15; Ephesians 4:4). Christ is the head of that body, which is also described as the church (Colossians 1:18). Because of this doctrine we must remember that every individual member of that body is important as Paul contends in I Corinthians 12:12-17. Also we must not divide the body by teaching doctrines outside of the doctrine of Christ the way that the denominational world has (I Corinthians 12:15).
These mechanisms of remembrance are great assets for us because they help us to remain focused on God’s truth. May we praise Him for His great wisdom in providing for us everything we need to be fruitful in every good work (Colossians 1:9-10).