"Gone But Forgotten"
June 22, 2011
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember Your wonders of old. I will ponder all Your works, and meditate on Your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:11-12
The Goodwill store near Flint, Michigan, is used to receiving all kinds of donations.
There are items which are immensely marketable, and those which are less so. High on the list of things which are not going to be finding a new home is one item dropped off a few weeks ago.
I can describe the item for those of you who are curious: the unsalable is a cream-colored jar which is about ten inches tall and weighs about ten pounds.
Oh, I almost forgot. The jar has a label. The label reads "Grandma's urn."
The urn which appears to have come from a house which was closed down has drawn the attention of the police. They are asking for people with information about the vessel and its ancestral contents to give them a call.
When I first heard that story, I was outraged. How could anyone treat a beloved grandmother with such disrespect? I didn't know which was worse -- to get rid of grandma's ashes because you didn't care or just to have forgotten you ever had her.
And this is where it gets embarrassing. My wife interrupted and asked, "Ken, do you think you can find the burial spots of all your grandparents?" When I had to confess I couldn't, she wasn't done. "Could you name the cemeteries where they are buried?" Once again the answer was "No."
By then I was feeling a whole lot less angry about the folks who had given grandma to Goodwill.
Thinking about the whole episode I had to concede we are all probably going to be forgotten. Indeed, the only folks good at remembering previous generations are folks who do genealogies and those who like to hold grudges.
Oh, I forgot Somebody. God also remembers us.
He remembers us as lost. He remembers us as people who desperately need the forgiveness His Son's blood alone can provide. He remembers us and to save us He sent His Son as the sacrifice to redeem humanity.
God remembers us, but do we remember Him? Do we remember Him better and more completely than we do our own ancestors?
I pray we do. I pray we join with the Psalmist who said, "I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember Your wonders of old. I will ponder all Your works, and meditate on Your mighty deeds."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I am a forgetful sinner. This is why I pray You will bless me and help me recall the wonders of Your salvation. This I pray in my Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries