Forgetfulness: An Art & a Danger
Last week Pastor Matt talked to us about “The Dangers of Forgetfulness.” He referred to the section in Amos when Amos begins to call out different groups of people for their sins and lets them know their fate (Amos 1:13-2:16). He lists their many offenses committed against God, but the main theme that runs through each section is their forgetfulness. These people had forgotten God. They had forgotten all He had done for them. They had forgotten how to worship Him and love Him.
When I think of forgetfulness, two things come to mind: it is an art and a danger. The art of forgetfulness is something John talks about in his gospel when he refers to being the bridegroom of Christ (John 3:29). He then says, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). The art of forgetfulness is forgetting ourselves! The less we think of ourselves, the more we can think of others. I do not mean that we should think less of ourselves in a degrading or negative way, but that we should think less about ourselves. Jesus is very clear that we must love Him above all things and love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). In our self-saturated culture, self-love is the highlight of most ads, commercials, TV shows, movies and so on. It’s everywhere! To love others as we love ourselves goes against every fiber of our being. It goes against everything the world tells us. Forget me? Forget my needs? Forget my desires and wants? Yes! These things do matter, but they should not be all consuming and at the forefront of our mind. Jesus must come first! Then others. This is where true freedom is found.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:13-14)
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
Forgetfulness is also a danger! We must not forget God. I must not forget Him! I must not forget who He is. I must not forget what He has done. Don’t forget: He is here - always has been, and always will be - no matter what. Don’t forget all He has done. Thank you, Jesus. You in me. Nothing I can do. You are what the law cannot accomplish and what I cannot accomplish. I remember! The body broken. The blood poured out...for me. You did it. Your death on the cross bridged the gap to the One Holy God. I remember what you have done for me, for us all. Thank you! Help me never to forget. I want to remember!
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph.” (Psalm 77:11-15)