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Remember and Hope

In a sermon called “A Room Called Remember,” Frederick Buechner says, “Hope stands up to its knees in the past and keeps its eyes on the future.”

I am struck by Buechner’s words. So often we think of hope as a future thing, as something we move towards or a dream for some time down the road. But Buechner reframes hope as something that happens in the present.

The picture Buechner’s words paint in my head, is of a person with two sets of eyes, a set on their face and a set on the back of their head. And so, one set of eyes are looking ahead, while another set is focused firmly on the past.

It’s something of what I imagine the psalmist is doing in Psalm 105. “Remember the wonderful works that God has done,” the psalmist writes, and then begins to recount the history of the nation of Israel, particularly the mighty acts of God throughout their history.

There’s a certain power in looking back, in remembering.

When we remember the past, we are able to look back at what God has done and the places God has been. And we remember God’s faithfulness. And then, find the courage to keep moving forward.

In his sermon Buechner goes on to say, “And because that is the past, because we remember, we have this high and holy hope: that what he has done, he will continue to do, that what he has begun in us and our world, he will in unimaginable ways bring to fullness and fruition.”

In other words, we remember that God isn’t done yet. And we trust the promise that what God has started, God will carry to completion.

Remember and hope.

Grace and peace,


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