Several hundred of our friends and family gathered together in Lancaster, PA last Friday night to celebrate 30 years of CPYU. And, as with everything we do here at CPYU, it was a strange mix of talking about somber cultural realities and the joyful hope that only comes through the Gospel. It was a great night. And I’m grateful to God for the calling He placed on our lives and His faithfulness over three decades.
As I spoke to our friends last Friday night, I focused on how the theme of “remembering” resonates throughout Scripture. The word is so timely for life in today’s world.
Our theme verse came from Psalm 78:4. . . “We will not hide them from our children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonders He has done.”
The dictionary tells us that “to remember” is “to call something from the past to mind.” Remembering is essential to the processing of passing the faith from one generation to the next. I recall early on in my youth ministry days hearing someone warn us youth pastors that “it only takes a generation to lose a generation.” The ebb and flow of faithfulness and idolatry among God’s people that’s recounted in Scripture is a good reminder of human nature and a bent with share with our Old Testament forefathers.
The Hebrew word for “Remember”. . . “zakar”. . . appears over 200 times in the Bible and is used in two contexts. When used in reference to God, He remembers us. This use is all about His faithfulness. We are the objects of His remembering. What an amazing message of security. But it is also used in reference to us remembering God. He is the object of our remembering. In Psalm 105 we read, “Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles and the judgments He pronounced.” In other places, we are called to remember His commands, His will, and His way.
But don’t think that our remembering of God is meant to be a momentary thought or recall. Rather, to zakar is to think about, to meditate upon, to pay attention to, to tell, to declare, to recite, to proclaim, to confess, to mention, and to commemorate. There’s not just the element of thoughtful remembering, but telling remembering. And this is where there’s a sense of urgency in today’s world. I truly believe that the most important and pressing need in today’s culture is a saving, functional, embraced, and treasured knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Word.
Are you remembering for the sake of the Gospel and your kids?