Remembering: What We Owe To Others

January 21, 1997
by Charles Scobie

2 Timothy 1:3-6 – I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience, as did my fathers, when I remember you constantly in my prayers. As I remember your tears, I long night and day to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you. Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you.

How good is your memory? Mine is not as good as it might be. My mother used to say I'd forget my head if it wasn't screwed on. Of course, you know that professors are traditionally supposed to be absent-minded. When my wife says to me, "How could you possibly forget that?", my standard response is, "I'm a professor; what's your excuse?"

In 2 Timothy 1:3-6, Paul begins by assuring his young assistant that he remembers him constantly in his prayers. Then, perhaps jogging Timothy's memory, he reminds him of his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice from whom he had inherited his Christian faith. How we would like to know more about these people who are only names to us!

It's easy to forget how much we owe to others – to parents, teachers, and friends who have helped us and influenced us over the years. We can get so caught up with the busy lives we are leading now that we become like the person who said, "I'll never forget what's his name."

Once a year we observe a "Remembrance Day" when we recall those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of others. But few of us live up to the stirring words of Laurence Binyon, "At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them." We need to remember what we personally owe to others – to the saints of all ages and especially to those people who have led us and have kept us in the way of Christ.

Prayer: Keep us, O God, always mindful of the great heritage into which we have entered.
As members of your people, we recall prophets, apostles, saints and martyrs who have helped pass on the Christian faith down to our own day. Help us to remember them, and to be grateful.
As individuals, we recall all those who have influenced our lives for good, especially those whose witness has made Christ more real to us. Help us to remember them, and to be grateful. Amen.

About the author:

Charles Scobie
Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada

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