Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 43 - October/November 2011 > Pastor's Piece - Memories

Pastor's Piece - Memories

by Dr Alex Currie


In January this year the largest private museum in Australia opened its doors in Hobart, Tasmania.    This surprising palace of contemporary and old exhibits cost over $75 million dollars to build and houses over $100 million worth of treasures.  The museum's three stories are carved out of a waterside cliff face of colourful Triassic sandstone.   It's grand, this modern day cathedral houses artefacts from all over the world.   My wife and I visited MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) museum earlier this week; some exhibits shocked, others intrigued.  One fascinating art piece is of a large head, the size of a car, positioned on its side.  Visitors peer through tiny window-like eyes, scattered around the head, to watch what an artist's impression is of what goes on in our heads.  There are lights, wires, books that all give the impression the head is full of memories.   Memory is a person's ability to store, retain and recall experiences and information.

In writing to Timothy, the Apostle Paul says "That precious memory triggers another..." 2 Timothy 1:5. (All quotes in this article are from The Message Bible).  In Timothy's case there were memories from grandma and mother.   Beverley's mother was 97 last week so eight of us went down to celebrate.  Four of our grandchildren were there.  Great-grandmother's eyes sparkled; her lips smiled, when she realised four great-grandchildren aged 12 to eighteen were in her hospital room.   They sat spellbound at stories that flowed from her memory bank.  Stories of God's protection, guidance, and blessing in her long life.   We all came away blessed by an amazing memory for detail.

Church life is about memory.  Records of creation, Calvary and our redemption are historical facts recorded in Scripture that become part of our memory banks.  Luke wrote "This is my body, given for you.   Eat it in my memory." So we celebrate the past that sustains us in the present.   John wrote "There is nothing left in your memory of his Message because you do not take his Messenger seriously."  John 5:34. John goads us into taking our spiritual life seriously, so beliefs, stories and values become part of memory. Paul says we may need to refresh our memories on some biblical teachings.   1 Corinthians 4:17.  But Church life is much more than memory for it casts a vision!    It's a vision of hope, faith and love for a resurrected life beyond the grave.  I Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4. 

Some members are experiencing challenging times.  Some are facing old age, others sickness, pain and serious problems.   John's message in John 16:21 is relevant.   "When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there's no getting around it.  But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth.    This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain.   The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar.   When I see you again, you'll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you." God has cast a wonderful vision of the future where there will be no more pain or suffering, dying or crying.  Revelation 21:1-4.   Thank God for such a vision that buoys our spirits!

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