recently, a talk @ St. Luke’s, ‘remembrance’

31 Oct

26 October I gave two talks, morning and evening, @ this is my home church in the UK. (the talk should be up on the St. Luke’s web site in a week or two.) Each talk was different in slight but a significant area. The theme for both was: ‘a clean heart: David’s Psalms of remembrances’ Morning was centred on the re-speaking of King David’s life through David’s own words, his Psalms. The morning’s thread line: David believes (He is wrong.) he has ‘clean hands’ in Psalm 18; he realizes in Psalm 51 that he needs a God who loves him cleanly-no agendas; no ‘to dos;’ no passive aggressive behaviours or co-dependent issues-He needs clean love to make him clean; as the Message states,

3 Generous in love—God, give grace!
Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
my sins are staring me down. You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,

This is what David needs; it is His essential: that God loves him, David, enough not to leave him unclean.

The evening focused on remembrances, what they are; their power, both positive and negative, and how we can meld His story with ours; how we can learn to live in our own story with Him.
My evening talk’s purpose, by big ask?  How do we place ourselves in God’s story; in a world of transience, rooting ourselves in God’s story roots us. Stories are remembrances; they are about us learning to live in our own stories. Then, how do we root ourselves? By knowing God’s story with us, by remembering He is with us- all ways- always. The word root comes from the Latin root word ‘radix.’ We get our word ‘radical’ from it. Rooting is radical process. Why? Because when we root ourselves we are learning to live in our own stories; learning to live in a place of story; the story of a family; a home; a country. Learning to live your story in a new country? You will go through a radical transformation. But no matter how radical a transformation I go through, my most rooted and radical transformation was when I became a Christian. A new person in a new physically unseen country. My story rooted with His. That is the only remembrance needed.

So the morning talk focused on understanding that we need to see ourselves, as David grew to see himself, as deep, deep sinners in need of cleaning by a God who touches in healing, washing love. Our essential need.  The evening talk centred on what we choose and how we choose to remember. Memories come unconsciously, springing to mind at any and all times. Remembrances are consciously built.

The connection between the two talks? God’s word. His word cleans and is in itself a remembrance of and for us. God’s word is literal and metaphorical at the same time. It exists as David’s and-if we build with it-as ours. He is the word made Flesh. Jesus reminds Martha of this in Luke 10,

‘As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

41-42 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.’

Only one remembrance is essential. Only one needed. His loving cleansing word. It is His remembrance.














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