Aloha Friday Message – June 19, 2009

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Remember me
I promise

Promise me
I’ll remember

A promise isn’t much good unless it is remembered. The person(s) making the promise must remember it, and the person(s) promised must also remember it. Better yet, they must both remember it the same way or else one or the other could be mistaken about whether or not the promise was fulfilled. With the remembering of the promise comes the expectation that it will be fulfilled. When it is not, then usually there is a hurt to be dealt with. Failure to keep a promise requires something to be done to help restore the relationship between the parties involved.

There are many different kinds of promises ranging from “pinkie-swear” to The New Covenant. There are assurances and insurances, agreements and oaths, pledges and contracts, vows and guarantees and warranties. Persons or things that “show promise” have untapped potential. The most remarkable promises, I think, are called covenants. This is a very special kind of promise. A covenant is a binding agreement between two parties where each pledges to the other to faithfully fulfill the promise even if the other party fails to. That is a very strong promise, and for most of us, very difficult to make and even more difficult to keep.

God has made several covenants with humanity – Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David – all of these were participants in covenants. The most recent of God’s covenants is The New Covenant. Like all the other covenants, the requirement is that both sides remember the promise. God promises to send salvation and asks us to remember that He gave us life and the choice to live it with Him. God promises to refrain from destruction by flood and asks us to remember to honor him. God promises to love and protect and asks us to remember that by being obedient. God promises to be faithful to us and asks us to remember to be faithful to him. God promises to provide everything we need and asks us to remember He is the source of it all. And finally, when we had proven time and again we could not keep our side of the covenant, He made both sides of the covenant His responsibility in Jesus. And what did Jesus ask of us when we claim His promise through The New Covenant? “Do this in remembrance of me.” Whenever we forget to remember, He remembers for us by remembering the promise and forgiving our forgetfulness. He forgives our failure to keep our promise.

Failing to keep a promise in our human relationships can have long-lasting and often terrible effects. “I promise to love you forever.” “I promise to stop drinking.” “I promise I’ll be there on time.” “I promise I won’t break my promise.” All of us know situations where broken promises have led to broken hearts and sometimes broken families or broken lives. For God, forgetting our failures is in His nature. For us, it seems, our nature is more inclined toward remembering our failures whether they are our own or someone else’s.

“I can forgive, but I’ll never forget.” “I can never forgive that, never in a million years.” “That was unforgivable.” “I cannot forgive and I will not forget what s/he did.” Beloved, God created us in His image so that we can forgive. Forgetting takes a lot more effort for humans because we are human; but we can get closer by remembering we can promise to forgive. When we forgive, we move closer to being the person God created us to be – someone like Him who chooses to forgive, chooses to love, and chooses to remember only the good stuff. In Him and through Him we find it is easier to be like Him, and that makes it easier to be in Him because He is in us.

In the MBN, we have promised to pray for, with, and about each other. I remember that promise when I get news about a member, or even hear about someone on the news, who needs our prayerful support. Once in a while we also get news that prayer has played a role in improving someone’s life. Here’s a short list of pending requests and two great praise reports:

GOOD news. SC – doctor says 100% cancer free. Only radiation follow-up and periodic monitoring to go. GW – Continued remission on that tumor. JC – Waiting for word on that sphenoid tumor – not malignant, but still present. So we’re continuing to pray that it will be gone before they have to cut it out.

Continued needs: J.T. – Continued prayers for recovery from infected surgical wound, needs meaningful work for income. J.H. – Strength to move on after very bad news. C.D. – Needs work closer to home to be able to spend more time with family and less money traveling. D.T. – Recovering from hip surgery – many more weeks to go. J.P. – Getting better in some ways after chemo, but other problems have developed. S.K. – Laid off and really needs to find another job. N.S. – Struggling with forgiveness for former family member. B.Z. Declining health in nursing home. Asks for assurances of salvation. D.P. – Possibly early Alzheimer’s. Family asks for strength to help. A.P. – Difficult family situation to work through. Pray for wisdom in the choices that have to be made. I.M. – Struggling with faith and commitment. J.C. – Beginning a new life of service soon. Asks for prayers to be open to God’s leading (this is another JC). P.G. – Feeling the effects of aging and thinking about “Going Home.”

Pray for our leaders. We are in perilous times, and their decisions should be made with morality, compassion, wisdom, and justice so we can all live together in peace. Pray for the people whose lives are now desperate because of the immoral, uncompassionate, unwise, or unjust decisions made by other leaders. Pray for sinners like us who need to remember to forgive. Pray for your own needs in confidence that God will hear you and your loved ones will join you.

These are a few of the reports and requests that are ongoing. As I often say in closing, pray for the people, Beloved. Pray for ALL the people. Promise to remember? Remember the Promise.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved

chick


AGE QUOD AGIS
In God WE trust

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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