My sermon today was about memory. John told the church in Ephesus to “remember” what they had fallen from, Revelation 2:1-7. Memory is the foundation of identity.

I saw a friend whose memory is slipping away. His normally natty appearance and youthfulness was missing. His hair stood up like someone that had just awakened from a nap.

When memory is absent there is no past or future. Without memory all relationships become the same. A son or daughter is viewed no differently than a complete stranger. There are no experiences to share with a spouse.

I no longer exist in my friend’s mind. I know that a disease has stolen his memories. But disease isn’t the only reason for lost memory. Sometimes it is because of indifference. At such times the lofty, noble values of the past are lost in organizational survival.

I’ve seen churches loose their memories. They forget Jesus. They forget their God-given mandate to share the gospel. They forget that the world is not a suitable lord. Soon forgetfulness steals their identities, and they have no basis for being distinctly Christian.

Then God ceases to exist in their minds.