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A Walk Down Memory Lane

Life in Ozark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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There is eternal value in remembering the works of the Lord in the past to properly anticipate and prepare

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Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory

60 Minutes
Remember every day of their lives… what they wore… what they ate… how they felt… every day.

I’m Not Like that. There are very few who are. I have big stuff in my life I haven’t forgotten yet.

Show PICTURE 1 — Harding Auditorium
Show PICTURE 2 — Isaiah and Jonathan

Going to Windermere is an experience for me like Life in Ozark has been and is for many people — a memory or set of memories that they have not yet forgotten which are meaningful.

There isn’t any way to properly consider Life in Ozark if we overlook the value that so many place on remembering time spent and people met and enjoyed here.

Life in Ozark is a life full of memory.

One of the most important functions of our memory, isn’t so much the way that our memory helps us to recall the past.

It’s most important feature is how our memories help us to anticipate the future. And we see this all through the Bible.

God and the Rainbow Covenant

Genesis 9:12–17 ESV
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
When we see the rainbow, it’s function in our memory is most meaningfully about a way that God wants us to place our faith in God in the future: that God will never again destroy all flesh by rain and flood.
Joshua and the Promised Land
Joshua 1:12–18 ESV
And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua said, “Remember the word that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land.’ Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but all the men of valor among you shall pass over armed before your brothers and shall help them, until the Lord gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they also take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and shall possess it, the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.” And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”
Remembering the word from Moses — given to Moses by the Lord — wasn’t primarily a sentimental view of the past as much as it was an assurance to the future that God was and is going to grant to the children of Israel the Promised Land.
The Israelites in Exile
Lamentations 5:1–2 ESV
Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; look, and see our disgrace! Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners.
Lamentations 5:19-
Lamentations 5:19–22 ESV
But you, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations. Why do you forget us forever, why do you forsake us for so many days? Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old— unless you have utterly rejected us, and you remain exceedingly angry with us.
They are invoking God to remember their and God’s past in hopes that as they look toward the future they can anticipate something other than God’s anger to endure. God’s anger has never been what has endured in the past. It has been God’s unending love that has endure forever.
Jesus invites us to remember our history so we might be sober-minded and holy in our living.
Luke 17:20–35 ESV
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.”
Jesus with the Thief on the Cross
Luke 23:39–43 ESV
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The Resurrection
Luke 24:1–8 ESV
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words,

The Study on those with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory

Yesterday, our memory is as good as their memory.
A few days pass, our memory is almost as good.
A week passes, and our memory of the day a week ago is very, very different from theirs.
A month or year passes, their memory of a given day is as good as it was at a week. We recall almost nothing.

“They are not great learners; they are very poor forgetters. Their rate of forgetting is small and ours is large.”

What we need to remember, is a prompt.

Have you ever had that experience… you can’t recall something then someone prompts you and then you recall the day as though it happened yesterday.
Luke 22:14–20 ESV
And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
When we come to this table, we are not only remembering the past… but we are remembering the past in light of the future… that Christ died once for all… and so we all died. And now, through him, all can live.
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