The word “remembrance” may generate a variety of images in your mind, ranging from positive and encouraging to negative and overwhelming. When the word “remembrance” is used in the gospel of Luke (Luke 22:19), the letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:24-25), and the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 10:3), the writers instruct the readers to deliberately bring to mind what was done in the past to better appreciate the intended effect in the present and the future. They wanted their readers to intentionally prompt themselves to recall the things that happened in the past for the purpose of appreciating and celebrating the present and future results. Specifically, these biblical writers used the word “remembrance” regarding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The followers of Jesus were instructed to practice “remembrance” when they gathered together as a part of their worship.
In 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, the apostle Paul gives instructions that he received from Jesus and presents to the followers of Jesus in the city of Corinth. The instructions pertain to the practice of remembrance instituted by Jesus on the night in which Jesus was betrayed at the supper He shared with His disciples (reference Matthew 26:20-30; Mark 14:12- 26; Luke 22:1-23). Following Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, appearances, and ascension, this supper signifies a practice or time of remembrance for the believers in Jesus to intentionally focus their mind and heart on the things that happened (i.e., Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension) for the purpose of appreciating and celebrating the present and future results of what Jesus’ actions made available for them (and you!).
For I [Paul] pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
How can the practice of remembrance help you?
You may experience all kinds of challenges, difficulties, loss, and disappointments in this life. Unfortunately, having a relationship with God through Jesus does not make you immune from negative life experiences, but your relationship with God through Jesus does provide healthy ways to approach any type of life experience.
One way to approach life with God is to incorporate the practice of remembrance in your daily, weekly, or monthly routine. Set aside time to remove all distractions, calm your mind and heart from all the things of life, and bring to remembrance when you encountered Jesus – that time you become aware of who Jesus is and what He did for you through His life, death, burial, and resurrection. Can you recall some of the promises God has made you as a result of your belief in Jesus?
Take a few moments to look in the Bible for some of these promises. Read the promises God has made to you because you have believed in Jesus. Write these promises to strengthen your recall of them. Place these promises in prominent places (i.e., phone wallpaper, computer screen saver, home art, office desk reminder) to help you incorporate more times when you practice remembrance throughout your day or week.
Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Hebrews 10:22-23
The practice of remembrance does not eliminate the challenges, difficulties, loss, and disappointments in this life nor are all your problems solved through this practice. The purpose of practicing remembrance is for you to incorporate times of appreciation and celebration about the results of your belief in Jesus.
Consider these results of your belief in Jesus recorded in Romans 5:1-11.
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Whether you think your current life circumstances are amazing or difficult, God has provided instructions on how you can approach all types of life experiences: practice remembrance regarding Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. Incorporate regular times dedicated to recall the results of your belief in Jesus and allow these times of remembrance to be an act of worship to God that brings you God’s peace, strengthens your hope in the present and future, and fills your heart with God’s love and continuous joy.
Watch the LIVE REPLAY to learn more about the practice of remembrance. Join us LIVE every Monday at 3 p.m. ET on @GodGivesCourage Instagram for our Spiritual Growth Series and check back here on Tuesdays for the companion blog post.