A couple of weeks ago I preached on remembrance, looking at what and how we should remember. This Sunday was the follow-up.

We’re made in God’s image and God remembers. Each revelation of God reveals a faithful God who keeps His promises. From the covenant with Noah (where the rainbow is the visual aid to us and God to remind us of His promise never to flood the earth again) through to His covenant with Abraham and Israel, we are able to stand because of the fact that God remembers. “He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.” (Ps 105:7-9)

But Jeremiah and Ezekiel (in Jer 31 and Ezek 16) point us to the ‘new covenant’ which God declared and which found its fulfilment in the New Testament (see Hebrews 8-10). And there we find an interesting fact:

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jer 31:34)

It’s not that God forgets our sins. But He does choose not to remember them any more: “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Ps 103:12) And, if we’re made in God’s image, it’s quite plain that there are some things we ought NOT to be remembering!

Forgiveness is a key element to our progress in the Christian life. Jesus made it plain that forgiveness is not an optional extra for the Christian (Matt 6:14-15, Matt 18:21-35). We need to practise an attitude of forgiveness, choosing not to remember the hurt, the harsh words, the sin that so easily wrecks relationships, so that no bitter root grows up to defile many (Heb 12:15), but focussing instead on the good things in people, thanking God every time we remember them, as Paul did. We need to be sure to fulfil our vows (to the Lord and to other people) and to learn to reflect God’s character in how we live. Jesus shows us how to forgive, how to love, how to live in right relationship with God and with others. Let’s be discerning in what we remember and what we choose not to remember and let’s be thankful, for we have been forgiven much and can therefore love much!