This week Brian and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. It is truly unbelievable to me that it has been that long!
When Brian and I were just married we attended a small group with several couples. It was a mixed bag of ages. There were two other young couples who were around our age, another couple who had been married for 10 years, and another couple 30 years!
I remember thinking how old they were. “Imagine 30 years together,” I recall saying to Brian, “Mel and June have been married longer than I’ve been alive!”.
It used to be that couples that were married thirty years were elderly, apparently I was wrong, because here we are!
So, on Tuesday we took a trip down memory lane. We went to St. Catharines to visit my side of the family for Christmas festivities and while we were there we drove by the church were it all began. The church was shut tight but we still managed to recreate our recessional on the outdoor steps.
It was fun and important to look back, to remember, and to recall just how far we’ve come, not only as a couple, but as individuals and as a family.
I believe it’s equally important to look back at our relationship with God and to see God’s faithfulness and provisions in our life. To look back, to remember, and to recall the every day blessings that we may take for granted or may not recognize in the moment.
We can get so caught up with what’s happening in the moment, that often we can’t see how far we’ve come. And when it comes to remembering God’s faithfulness, we can be especially forgetful.
Do you remember in the book of Exodus, chapters 14 and 16 where the Israelites were delivered from slavery and brought through the Red Sea, and then a moment later they are grumbling about not having food to eat?
You just want to say to them, “Don’t you remember what God just did for you? The water stood up like two walls, and you walked through the Red Sea on dry ground! Don’t you think that the God who can do that is also capable of giving you food to eat? Trust him!”
And yet how often do we do the same thing? God brings us through a trial, answers a prayer, and within a few days it’s forgotten. It’s as though we have spiritual amnesia and we’re already onto the next struggle on the horizon.
We have to find ways of remembering God’s faithfulness.
Throughout the Old Testament, the nation of Israel built monuments and established traditions to help them remember God’s power and faithfulness. Check out Joshua 3 and 4, and Exodus 12.
We, too, can keep a record of God's work in our lives. Perhaps by keeping a journal of prayer requests and the ways in which God has answered those prayers, or by sharing the story of God’s faithfulness to others around you? These are both wonderful ways to draw strength for the future from what God’s done in the past.
If we stop and remember God’s faithfulness to us, when those troubles and doubts threaten to overwhelm us, which they undoubtedly will, we can draw strength from those times and step bravely into the future.
The beginning of a new year, like an anniversary, is a good time to take stock.
Take a moment and reflect on this past year and God’s faithfulness to you. I believe that when we look back and recall all that God has done, we will find courage, hope and excitement as we enter into 2017.
Wishing you all a Blessed and Happy New Year with the prayer that you will have much peace, love and joy in 2017!
Please join us this Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 11 a.m. for a wonderful service of worship. The Rev. Shireen Spencer will be our guest preacher. Please note that there will be no KidsZone this Sunday, however Nursery will be available.
We will gather around the table for Communion on Sunday, January 8, 2017.