It was a horrendous act which took the lives of TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Fourteen hours after Alison’s death, her bereaved father appeared on a news program for an interview. He came on TV so soon after this senseless loss, in part as he says, because he wanted his daughter to be remembered. Parents want their deceased children to be remembered. Parents want their child’s life to count for something, to mean something, to be remembered and not be forgotten.
As a matter of fact, we all want our lives to count for something, to mean something, to be remembered. No one wants to be forgotten.
Yet the sad reality is that we will all soon, very soon after we are gone, be forgotten, completely forgotten by this world. I like to ask people this question to illustrate the fact that we will soon be forgotten: Do you know the first and last name of your eight great-grandparents? Most do not know any full names, some know a name or two, no one has ever told me that they know all eight names (although a few could look them up in an old family Bible or dusty file). So we are separated from our great-grandparents by 2 generations and they are forgotten already! Do you think you will be any different? You and I too will soon be forgotten. As we sing in a hymn (#733):
Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Soon bears us all away; We fly forgotten as a dream Dies at the opening day.
As it says in Psalm 103:15,16: “As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field: the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.”
Our ultimate remembrance is not from what we have done or the people we have known or the trophies that we have won. Our ultimate remembrance is from God. The wicked thief on the cross repented of his sin and asked Jesus, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus promised the repentant thief that he would be with him that day in paradise. Life eternal with God, granted by Jesus, our sin-bearer, is the only answer to our longing for remembrance.
Jesus is the way to a meaningful life. Living and acting in his forgiving love is a way for a life that counts. Trusting in Jesus is the only way to have a life that will be remembered. So we want to say this to our children, grandchildren and others: You can forget me, but never forget your Savior!