Deuteronomy 31:1‐32:27; Luke 12:8‐34; Psalm 78:32‐55; Proverbs 12:21‐23
A Nation of Forgetters
We are a nation of forgetters. The flood of information that assaults us every day is often named as a reason. Attention spans and memory are shortened by TV and other entertainment and diversions that provide an unbroken chain of sensory stimulation. We are flooded with data but bereft of memory.
But forgetfulness is nothing new. Today’s reading from Psalm 78 bemoans the forgetfulness of the people of Israel some 3,000 years ago, and the Song of Moses, recorded for us in the Deuteronomy reading is really about helping the people remember. In fact, one of the central characteristics of Jewish piety is repetition—repetition as an antidote to forgetfulness.
Whether the people are singing the Song of Moses, or a Psalm, or reciting some other portion of Scripture, it is for the purpose of not forgetting. Just a couple weeks ago, we celebrated Maundy Thursday, when, among other things, Jesus instituted the celebration of the Lord’s supper. We are to do this “in remembrance.” The Greek is anamnesis – “un-amnesia”… not forgetting. One of the reasons we read the Scriptures daily is so that we do not forget. We gather for praise and worship so that we do not forget.
Indeed, the only antidote to forgetfulness in men and women is repetition. So when we repeat the Creed, the prayers, the songs, the Psalms, the lessons, etc., give thanks for not forgetting!
The Rev. Eric Turner