Mankind, being created by God, has an even greater power of recollection and nostalgia for the past and the capacity to respond to previous events beyond just simple memory.
In God’s creation, many animals show that they have a certain kind of memory. Family pets can remember familiar voices, language, colour, movement and orientation. Some pets may even remember their owners who take care of them to such an extent that despite being separated for several years, they will still recognise their owner when they are reunited. These heart-warming examples simply show the wonder of memories.
Mankind, being created by God, has an even greater power of recollection and nostalgia for the past and the capacity to respond to previous events beyond just simple memory. Thus, it shows that men and women are really the masterpiece of God’s creation.
The ability to recall past events indicates that our minds are always active and full of energy. However, once a person develops amnesia it means the degradation of the brain, aging and shrinking of life. Generally speaking, in the later years, this is known as dementia.
When we see our family members or friends forgetting a few things, we may not regard this as a very serious problem. But if amnesia does happen to me one day, it would be unimaginable, as I would find myself losing memory of the past. Under those circumstances I would forget all past experiences, including my upbringing, my learnt skills and expertise, my family and friends, and even myself.
If dementia is such a sickness that older people will succumb to, I pray that I would now treasure all my fond memories before I too develop dementia. I want to remember how my family members had walked with me all these years, how my teachers had taught and nurtured me, how my good friends had accompanied me and also how the Lord had blessed me abundantly. For all these, I want to celebrate and be thankful.
Each time during the Holy Communion service when I read about Jesus at the Last Supper holding up the bread and wine and urging His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me”, my heart is filled with gratitude.
In Luke 22:19-20, the Greek word, anamnesin, means “remember”, or more specifically, to recall the past happenings into present experience. During the Last Supper while celebrating the Jewish Passover with His beloved disciples, Jesus broke the bread and held up the cup signifying the sacrifice of His life on the cross for us and His blood shed for the forgiveness of our sins. Through this He wants us to remember His great love for us.
Remember the past and show your gratitude today! Next time after you have received the Holy Communion, do not rush off and talk to people immediately, but return to your seat quietly to remember what the Lord has done for you, and be thankful so that you will celebrate Him in your life accordingly.
For this reason, I love that I can still recall people and events, because by doing so I know my life is meaningful and I am energised to continue to love people and God.
Picture by goa novi/Bigstock.com
The Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung was re-elected President of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) in 2012 for the quadrennium. He has been a Methodist pastor for 31 years and has been a guest lecturer at Trinity Theological College since 1996.