Our main scripture for Sunday, Aug. 3 is the climax of the story of Noah and the flood (Genesis 8-9), where God “remembers” that ark-enclosed colony of humans and animals that has been marooned on the rising waters.
I am not always good at remembering things. Names, for instance. And occasionally cheque books.
One afternoon my wife Julie and I were late for an appointment. As we were rushing out the door I called over my shoulder, “Did you bring the cheque book?”
“No,” she replied. “Don’t you have it?” “No,” I said, with some frustration. “I thought you did. We need it!”
Back into the house I went. In the desk drawer where it usually lay, I found lots of paper clips and bic pens, but no cheque book. A search of the computer desk turned up a lost book hidden amidst the clutter, but no cheque book.
Maybe the catch-all corner on the kitchen counter? Here were recipes, telephone messages, and an unpaid electric bill. But still no cheque book.
My anxiety escalated toward desperation. “Julie, come help me look for the cheque book!” Ransacking my brain, I simply could not recall when I had last written a cheque. Already I was thinking about phoning the bank to cancel our account.
Five more minutes of looking high and low yielded a few more lost treasures, but, alas, no cheque book. And now we were late for our appointment. “We’ll have to stop and the bank and withdraw some cash,” I muttered, as we again headed for the car.
Then it happened. “Oh, look at this!” exclaimed Julie, who was three steps behind me. And she proceeded to pull something from my back pocket. Surprise! The precious lost cheque book was found.
The message of the flood story is that God, unlike those of us whose memory lapses, “remembers.” God remembers the world. God remembers suffering people who are forgotten. God also remembers people who can no longer remember, which happens with a disease such as Alzheimer’s.
God’s “remembering” leads to life. And that is good news.