“Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.”
“Remember us, O Lord…” I found the psalmist’s prayer to be strange. Isn’t it more likely that I will not remember the Lord as I go about my busy day? Remember us Lord, don’t forget us, count us among those you favor.
We all find ways to remember those who are important to us. We take pictures, save mementos, visit cemeteries, tell stories, reminisce. On a societal scale, we build monuments, write books, and teach succeeding generations about the people they should remember. As a Church, we remember those among us we call saints who showed us how to live in love and we share our common story and worship, doing so at the word of Jesus, “in memory of me.” In the past 4 weeks, we recalled brothers who made a difference in the lives of many people through their love of God and service in God’s name.
Whenever I volunteer at Our Daily Bread Employment Center in Baltimore, MD, I prepare myself through prayer so that I might see Christ in those I serve – and that is the last thought I give to Christ. I get caught up in the busyness of helping clients design resumes, struggle with interviews, and search for jobs. Sometimes someone will return to tell me about a new job and thank me for helping with a resume. I rarely remember them among the many, but they remember me.
How will the Lord remember us? Through the food we give to the hungry, the clothing we give to the naked, the compassion we show to the sick and imprisoned. Through our service to the “least of these.” When we serve out of love for the Lord, every day, in the ordinary course of our lives, we touch the lives of our families, our friends, our professed brothers, our spouses, our children, our students, our poor. “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do to me.” Jesus promised, and he will remember.
Recall that you are in the presence of the Holy Spirit and center your thoughts on the psalmist’s prayer: “Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.”
Sit quietly in God’s presence, remembering those people in your life, past or present, who have loved you and taught you to love, those who have had an impact on your life. Allow their faces or names to come naturally to mind. Do not try to compile a complete list; simply allow them to surface in your consciousness. (You may be surprised who comes to mind.) As each comes to mind, thank God for their impact on your life.
In conclusion, ask the Lord how He would like to remember you. What gift, talent or quality have you been given for the service of God’s people? Pray for the strength and courage to do God’s will. Pray to be remembered by the Lord through the least of God’s people.
God of Love and Compassion, we ask that you give us sight, so that we can see the world through your eyes. We ask for ears to hear your call to service and the hands to do your will. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Your Son and our brother. Amen.