“The righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.” (Psalm 112:6)
“The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.” (Proverbs 10:7)
Christmas time is a time of memories, or at least that’s what Hallmark and other card makers would have us believe. Nostalgia and sentimentality characterize cards, store advertisements, news articles, and media blitzes. I promise not to camp on this issue too much over the next couple of weeks, but some of us have unpleasant memories associated with Christmas. The death of a loved one, working rather than celebrating, being alone on the holidays, or depression may be memories that we struggle with over the holidays. Of course, the antidote to all sentimentality and unpleasant memories is remembering Christ, who was born to die, be resurrected, and ascend to his rightful place in heaven, having won our victory over sin. We are encouraged to remember this whenever we take the Lord’s supper, by Christ’s command (1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
Psalm 112:6 and Proverbs 10:7 speak of the memory of the righteous, which is a blessing to those who have it. This memory is eternal and contrasts with the names of the wicked, which rot and decay without a trace. I believe grandparents and great-grandparents think much more about how they want to be remembered than does a single person such as myself, although I do want to be remembered well by my relatives. However, even more important than how people remember us is the fact that Christ will remember us forever and keep us secure in him; “The righteous will never be moved.” He will vindicate our faith. Believers have his assurance that nothing will ever separate us from Christ’s love, including death, angels, and powers (Romans 8:35-39)
Having this knowledge gives us confidence so that we can concentrate on remembering God and his glorious works rather than worry about whether or not he will remember us. “He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful…he remembers his covenant forever. He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations.” (Psalms 111:4-6)
What has God done for you in Christmases past? What, in particular, should you remember about Christ as you celebrate Christmas this year? Perhaps this would be a good time to read through Luke 1:1-2:21 for a particular aspect of Christ’s birth that will help you remember him. As for me, I choose Luke 1:76-79 from Zechariah’s prophecy: “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”