It's amazing the capacity we have to forget stuff, including for Christians the absolutely central stuff of our faith. I don't mean that things are completely expunged from the memory. I just mean those times when for a long stretch the stuff that we know lies dormant and dusty in the mind. It is a curse, this forgetfulness, requiring us to constantly discipline our memories. But in a weird way, out of the curse of forgetfulness comes the blessing of remembering. Because the truth has lain there hidden by all the day to day junk and precious treasure of life, when we see it again it is almost like the first time - but better than the first time, because it comes with that joyful sense of recollection: 'I remember this!'
Take, for example, the forgiveness of sins.
I bet you have from time to time been functionally forgetful of the fact that God in Christ forgives sins. In my experience this sometimes happens when I go for a period without being conscious of any great transgression. Without really thinking about it, the forgiveness of sins gets shoved into the mental attic, to be retrieved when needed.
And then, one morning, maybe I'm reading the Bible, or maybe I'm praying, or maybe I'm just reflecting on the past week, and suddenly, BAM! The forgiveness of sins. God my Father, in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, shows his great love to me by wiping out the record of my wrong, by looking at me as someone who is eternally separated from my own sin and therefore eternally welcomed by him as a son along with his Son, and a co-heir with him of the eternal kingdom.
He forgives our sins!
And suddenly I'm conscious that sin is the one word which accurately describes so much of my life and my character. The forbidden and unwise done, the commanded and beneficial undone, self put before others, even the occasional appearance of selflessness shot through with concern for image.
And just like the first time, I am amazed that all of this is forgiven. But unlike the first time, I remember that this is how God my Father has treated me again and again, bringing me to this point of turning my back on the me that he has also turned his back on, and embracing the me he calls me and allows me to be. Sin really forgiven.
I'm almost glad I forgot it, for the sheer joy of remembering. O felix culpa..? But mostly just thank you. Thank you, my great and good God, for remembering and reminding me.