Week of April 3: Remembering Jesus Christ
By REV. DOREEN SMALLS
Lesson Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:8-15
There’s a story about a city dweller who was visiting relatives on a farm. The farmer gave a whistle and his dog herded the cattle into the corral, and then latched the gate with her paw. "Wow, that’s some dog,” the visitor said. “What’s her name?”
The forgetful farmer thought a minute, and then asked, "What do you call that red flower that smells good and has thorns on the stem?"
"That’s it!" The farmer turned to his wife, "Hey Rose, what do we call this dog?"
All of us from time to time have trouble with our memory. Some relate forgetfulness to their age while others ascribe it to a busy schedule or an overload of simultaneous information. However as Christians, we are called to never forget Jesus Christ.
Remember Jesus Christ
When we gather as Christians, the memory of Christ is lifted up through songs, litanies, prayers, sermons and sacraments. The sacrament of Holy Communion recalls the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through baptism we are initiated into the body of Christ. But at times, we tend to forget Christ.
2 Timothy is a call to remember Jesus Christ. He states, “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David – that is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal” (2 Timothy 2:9). Paul makes these two assertions about Jesus: He was “raised from the dead” and is “a descendent of David.”
We need to remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, when we fall into skepticism that shadows our hope. We need to remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, when we bend toward perspectives that oppose the truth of the Gospel. Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, permeates our lives with hope even when our lives seem to be falling apart. Recalling Jesus Christ as a descendent of David calls to mind the messianic hope of Judaism that Jesus came to fulfill. Reminding ourselves that Jesus Christ is a descendent of David enables to trust that all of God’s promises will be fulfilled. How does your life reflect your belief in Jesus Christ?
Faith Sources and Resources
Various persons and experiences help shape our Christian faith. Some will point to Sunday school teachers, preachers, family members and friends as major influences in their faith journey. Individuals will also cite specific worship services, spiritual retreats, confirmation programs, small groups and Christian conferences as significant formative experiences.
The hymns we sing and the creeds we recite help form our spirituality as well. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 has been interpreted as portions of an early hymn or a liturgical confession. He states, “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him. If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Timothy 2:11-13). Paul encourages us to die to sin; to persevere through struggles and to boldly proclaim the gospel. These verses invite us to reflect on our faith and remind us of God’s faithfulness.
When we face challenges, we sometimes forget God's past faithfulness. We focus only the roadblocks and the detours. But if we look back, we can see the guidance and faithfulness of God in the midst. Here's how F.E. Marsh, Christian author, described what the Christian can see when he or she looks back:
The deliverances the Lord has wrought (Deut. 5:15).
The way He has led (Deut. 8:2)
The blessings He has bestowed (Deut. 32:7-12).
The victories He has won (Deut. 2: 2-7).
The encouragements He has given (Josh. 23:14).
The Bible is filled with stories and scriptures that remind us of God’s faithfulness. What resources do you turn to that remind you of God’s faithfulness?
Rev. Doreen Smalls is an associate director at the Office of Connectional Ministries and she serves as Conference Secretary to Global Ministries. If you have any comments or questions, you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.