Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26
Memory. Remembering. How many times a day do we comment about our memory or the things we need to remember? We hear comments like, “I’d forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on!” or “I don’t have a good memory for peoples’ names.” I laugh at comments like these and at my own forgetfulness, but deep down, I am really bothered by the possibility of forgetting something important — a loved one’s birthday, an anniversary, an important meeting or appointment. Even worse is the prospect of being forgotten myself, of being invisible.
Psalm 136 assures and reminds us that we are remembered always and that God’s love endures forever. Our God is the God of gods and Lord of lords, the God of goodness, and the God of great wonders. The text says God remembered us, even in our “low estate.” This term is used historically to refer to the children of Israel, a nation of oppressed slaves. For us interpreting this today, “low estate” might mean our moments of darkness and despair, times when we are separated emotionally or physically from those we love, or just when we are feeling emptied out. And aren’t these exactly the moments when we need to hear God’s voice telling us we are known, loved and remembered?
This Advent season, I will be making a lot of lists to remember everything that needs doing during the holidays. I’ll undoubtedly have some exasperating moments or periods of sadness, as most of us do, but I plan to keep the words of Psalm 136 handy. They give me a boost, reminding me that I am never forgotten by God and that God’s love keeps coming my way.
Hallelujah! What a gift to keep in mind!