Forgetful Hearts (14 September 2020)

Morning Encounter:

Introduction

If you are above a certain age and grew up going to Sunday School, chances are you will have a fair few verses of the Bible committed to memory. But the practice of memorising Scripture seems to have fallen out of fashion.  We need to bring it back!

You may feel your memory is unreliable, over-stretched, unable to retain even the simplest sequence of numbers (I have been known to forget my phone number and bank PIN…) but there are strategies and techniques to help, and once we are convinced this is important, I feel sure we can manage it! So this week we will be looking at why memorising the Bible is so vital, and each day we’ll have a chance to practice.

Read:  

Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only true God! So love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Memorize his laws and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you’re at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and foreheads to help you obey them. Write these laws on the door frames of your homes and on your town gates.

The Lord promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that he would give you this land. Now he will take you there and give you large towns, with good buildings that you didn’t build, and houses full of good things that you didn’t put there. The Lord will give you wells that you didn’t have to dig, and vineyards and olive orchards that you didn’t have to plant. But when you have eaten so much that you can’t eat any more, don’t forget it was the Lord who set you free from slavery and brought you out of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 6: 4-12

Reflect:

The people of Israel were living in significant times. In living memory, they had escaped slavery by walking through a parting in the sea; they had been fed by heavenly food and led by pillars of cloud and fire through the desert. They are about to enter a land that will become their home, and life is going to get easier.

Moses knows they are forgetful and fickle. When he was up the mountain talking to God, they made themselves a new god, a golden calf (Exodus 32). We too are forgetful and fickle. Memorising Scripture is a way to ingrain the stories of God’s faithfulness into our hearts, so we remember in  times of comfort and hardship.

Moses even gives creative ideas about how to remember: teach it to your children, talk about it to your friends, copy it down and put it up around your house, make it part of your bedtime and morning routine. We are forgetful by nature. We have to work at this.

Respond:

Copy out Deuteronomy 6: 5: “The Lord our God is the only true God! So love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength.” Put it somewhere you will see it frequently today, and read it as many times as you can.

Midday Meditation:

I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spicèd tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

(St Patrick)

Evening Reflection:

“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbours, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.”

Jeremiah 31: 33,34 (NIV)

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