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I think I might need a Plan B to remember people’s names. My Plan A is to run through the alphabet to try to stimulate a recall; which is hard, if I am, at that moment, engaged in conversation with the very person whose name I am trying to remember, and doubly hard if someone new is quickly approaching to whom I’m obligated to make an introduction. But Plan A doesn’t always work, and a Plan B I’m yet to discover.
How generous then of the Master to give us multiple aide mémoires to remember his person and profession. Firstly a word association to remember his name, for ‘Jesus’ means ‘Saviour’. Secondly a sacrament to remember his work, namely bread and wine to remember his perfect atonement. And thirdly his Spirit, who actively helps us to remember who he is and why he came.
The danger in the Christian life is not forgetting the facts of the Master’s work, but the meaning of that work, namely that salvation is by grace alone. Grace is such a radical thing, and certainly opposite to the tit-for-tat principle of the world, and to the karmic principle entrenched in most religious thought. Having someone act on your behalf, and then freely give you the rewards of their actions, is an extraordinary thing, and our hearts and minds need an aide mémoire to prevent them from slipping back into their default position. And God’s Plans A, B & C are the perfect alphabet.
DM 20th October 2020