“Rewind”

For several decades people have been able to rewind their cassettes, VCRs, CDs, DVDs, etc, etc.  It is a big advantage to listen to or view an event or song over and over.  While listening and/or watching what happened in the past we can stir our memories and recall them with much more clarity than just looking at an old photo.  On the flip side, this can sometimes elicit memories that might cause us sadness, pain or even anger. The ability to rewind surveillance cameras, which seem to be almost everywhere, has certainly been a huge boon to law enforcement.  Those trips down memory lane can often be eye-openers for those of us who felt we were attractive and skillful.  The camera does not lie, but our selective memory sure can.

When we do rewind and review those old tapes, are the memories ever unpleasant? When I look at people in videos who were more acquaintances than friends, I sometimes wonder why that was.  Couldn’t I have said or done something to deepen that relationship and perhaps even have helped them to become brethren.  I might have said snide or harsh words to someone and never took the time to right that wrong.

The most important rewind ever will happen when Jesus returns with all the angels (Mt 25: 31).  He will sit on his throne in heavenly glory and separate the people into two groups according to their practices while on earth (Mt 25: 32).  He will rewind the tapes to show how people either loved and cared for others or how they ignored the needs of the poor and strangers.  If people who gave food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, showed hospitality to strangers, visited the sick and those in prison, they were called blessed.  Jesus said that it was as if they had done those things for him (Mt 25: 34-40).  The rest were called cursed and sent to eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels because of their lack of love and concern for others and for Jesus (Mt 25: 41-46).

The good news is that we still have time to make tapes that will show the behavior desired when rewound (Mt 5: 16) (1 Tim 6: 18).  Of course it is not the good deeds themselves which will save us, but the obedience of a repentant heart (Acts 2: 38) and our union with Christ (Gal 3: 26-27).

–Jim Bailey