About the Author

Rev Aaron Eime is the deacon of Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem, the first Protestant Church in the Middle East. Aaron studied at the Hebrew University in the Masters Program with the focus towards Early Jewish and Christian Interpretation of Bible. Aaron also studied Psychology and Sociology at Queensland University in Australia in the Social Work Program. He is a dedicated Bible teacher exploring the Hebraic Roots of the Christian Faith. He has taught Internationally in many countries including Europe, North America, Hong Kong and China. Aaron is the Director of Research and Education at Christ Church. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and 3 children.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Command to Remember

What is the most common Command that God gives His people in the Bible? Many of us immediately leap to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength”. And while Jesus agreed that this was the most important command, it never the less is not the most common. Another popular answer given when I ask this question is, “Fear Not!”. Indeed, that was my first response too. And again, while ‘Fear Not’ is right up there in frequency, with the Angels, God and the Messiah constantly having to instruct practically every human they meet ‘not to be afraid’, it too is not the most common command. 

God commands us to Remember more times than any other command. Why? Because we are a very forgetful people. Our society is full of distractions. We are distracted by our technology, our smart phones and smart TV’s, our jobs and even our ministries. But God doesn't desire us to be a distracted people and He asks us to Remember! 

Memory is not sitting and thinking on the past. Recalling events, times and places before Alzheimers or Dementia sets in. Memory in the Hebraic tradition is more than that. Even God remembers! Does it mean that God forgets? No, of course not. Forgetting is something God cannot do. So what does it mean to Remember? What does it mean for God to remember? Firstly, Remembering is not the opposite of Forgetting, not in the Jewish sense. 

When is the first time the Bible records God remembering? In Genesis 8, it is written that God remembered Noah. Does this mean that after God instructed Noah to build the Ark, shut him inside and flooded the world with the deluge that He then returned to Heaven and forgot about him? Perhaps sometime later Michael the Archangel politely tapped God on the shoulder and said ‘Almighty One, Blessed be He, there appears to be a man down here with a large boat and he thinks he knows you!’ … and God responds; ‘Oh my, how long have you been floating down there Noah? 150 days! Wow, it must stink fierce with all those animals! Ok, I need wind, let’s pull the plug on the water, I need a rainbow, a few birds and an olive branch .. let’s go people!’

God remembered Noah and all the living creatures .. which were with him in the Ark and God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided’ Genesis 8vs1. God also remembers Rachel and opens up her womb in Genesis 30vs22. God hears the groaning of the Israelites in Egypt and He remembers His covenant with Abraham in Exodus 2vs24 and brings about their redemption. When God remembers, He acts. To Remember spurs you into action. At least it should, as Remembering is closely associated with Doing. As Jesus says, ‘Do this to Remember Me!’ From a Hebraic perspective, you Remember by Doing. 

God asks us to remember what He has done, to remember His teaching, guidance and instruction and His wondrous acts of redemption. In the act of remembering His generosity, His mercy, grace and love, this should spurs us into action. We will respond by being better disciples of Jesus. By being generous, merciful, gracious and loving…and Doing! 

The Calendar is a great tool to help us remember. In our distracted world and daily lives, the Calendar marks events of God’s action and intervention in Creation. Through remembering Feasts and Festivals, and as discussed you Remember by Doing, thus you participate in the Sacred Time. At Passover we remember and celebrate redemption, at Christmas the birth of Messiah, at Hanuakkah Gods provision and miracles, at Purim of His constant hand of protection, on Shabbat of the blessings of rest and the future Sabbath to come. Just name a few of the themes at each Festival. These times of Remembering should prompt us to act in our fallen world and heal Creation with the Gospel of the risen Jesus the Messiah.