As a mom of two toddlers, I spend a majority of my days repeating myself over and over. This constant repetition typically happens for one of two reasons: one, my toddlers do not always listen the first time that I say something, and two, my toddlers are constantly learning—and learning comes with lots of repetition. I repeat words that they are learning, I repeat our schedule for the day so they know what to expect, I repeat stories that they want to read over and over again, I repeat expectations when behaviors fall short. You get the idea.
My son is working on learning to get dressed on his own, and every day, we discuss which foot is his right foot and which foot is his left foot. I cannot actually remember a day in our recent history that hasn’t included this conversation about his feet.
My daughter is working on learning to talk in general, and every day, we discuss every little aspect of life that she is analyzing: Apple? Yes, you are eating a crunchy apple. Arm? Yes! That is your arm. You have two arms. Mommy arm? Yes, I have two arms also. Daddy arm? Yes, daddy has two arms. I also cannot remember a day in our recent history that hasn’t included this kind of discussion with her.
Will there be a point when I won’t have to repeat myself as I reinforce to my daughter that she does, in fact, have two arms or that my son’s right foot will always be his right foot? Probably. But in all honesty, toddlers or not, we all need repetition similar to this to help us remember.
Reminders upon Reminders
During a time when your daily schedule is changing every single day to accommodate working from home, children being off school, and store closings, you are in need of lots of reminders. Maybe you remember things by writing a to-do list for your day or by setting reminders on your smart home device. Maybe you remember by journaling or writing little notes to yourself that are scattered all over your desk right now. Maybe you subconsciously miss when you could rely on your mom to remember everything for you.
The constant, human need for tools to help ourselves remember anything has met its perfect match in the season of Lent and the journey through Holy Week.
When we are the kind of people who struggle to remember that laundry is sitting in our dryer, we are certainly also the kind of people who can just as easily struggle to remember the way Jesus rescued us from our sins. We see in the Bible over and over again examples of God’s people struggling in this same way. Even—or perhaps especially—His closest friends, who most intimately interacted with Jesus during His days on this earth, had to be reminded to remember.
In Luke 24:1–4, we head to Jesus’ tomb with a group of women:
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.
From our perspective today, it can be so easy to read these words and think that the women were foolish in their reactions. How did they not know what was going to happen? Jesus himself had explained all of this to them before He died, right? And yet, they were still perplexed. The angel graciously repeats to them the truths they had forgotten in verses 5–12:
And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how He told you, while He was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
And they remembered His words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.
We can easily see ourselves in the experience that the women had that morning. We have the Gospel repeated to us again and again as we worship at our churches and study our Bibles, yet we still need a whole season of the Church Year to remember the journey Jesus took to defeat sin and death on our behalf. We still need to have our pastors repeat to us each week that our sins are forgiven in Christ.
Will there be a point when my son will remember that his right foot will always be his right foot? Yes. Will there be a point when my daughter will remember that she has two arms? Yes. Will there be a day that your schedule will return to normal? Yes. Those days will be here sooner than you and I think.
There is another day coming sooner than we think, which God’s Word tells us about again and again—when we, too, will experience the resurrection. We will not have to remember death or sin any longer, but instead, everything will be made new.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17).
Download the calendar below to spend time in God’s Word, looking at more reminders like the verse above of the promised resurrection. Each day features a short reading and an activity for you and your family to use. If you are using this calendar on your own, the readings and prompts could easily be used for daily journaling or discussion with a friend.
Download this month’s Everyday Faith Calendar below to start spending time in God’s Word with reminders of the resurrection.