In a passage from Milan Kundera’s 1979 novel “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting”, one character says that “the first step in liquidating a people … is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long, the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was.” This haunting description draws me back to a theme Moses pounded into the Israelites as they made their way through the wilderness. Over and over he reminds them to remember their history. For example in Deuteronomy 8 we find this warning:
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery … You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Notice the danger of re-narrating our lives (you may say to yourself) in a way that is the antithesis of reality (My power has done this). One antidote to spiritual memory loss is gratitude: “When you are satisfied, praise the Lord your God.” Gratitude is a discipline that involves the intersection of humility of heart and awareness of reality. So take some time today and re-read the passage above and identify one thing for which you are grateful, write it down, and look at it throughout the day, thanking God as you do. This will keep your spiritual memory sharp and your heart joyful.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;Psalm 118:1
his love endures forever.
Get more connected
Join us for a Coffee Hour on the 5th floor turned Ministry Fair with kiosks and representatives to learn about our church, our building and ways to get plugged in.
- Sign up for the RWS Membership Class, Sep 25: This class helps potential members learn the gospel theology and ministry of Redeemer West Side so you can join the church. We cover what’s behind the five membership vows, how a PCA church is led, and how members step into our sacred call to love our neighbors and heal our city.
- Attend Live at W83 featuring Quatour Caèl, Oct 7: This is the first of a series of concerts intended to provide a beautiful concert experience for our West Side neighbors.
This concert will feature the Quatour Caèl quartet performing works by Beethoven and Ravel. The evening will be followed by a wine and cheese reception in the W83 gallery.
- Register for Following Jesus in your 20s, Oct, 9: Launch a new or enhanced life of following Jesus. Gain practices that navigate a lifetime of discipleship by learning how people grow at Redeemer West Side. This class gives us a foundation to live on as a follower of Jesus and helps us understand the greater Christian story we are part of.
This class is held as a three-week class on Sundays in-person. Interactive, with some productive ‘homework.’
- Getting married?, Oct 15: Plan on attending Redeemer’s Premarital Seminar. You don’t have to be engaged to participate in the seminar. Even if you’ve just begun considering the possibility of marriage, this is a powerful way to discover whether you should continue in your relationship. This seminar is a lively day of biblical teaching on marriage, exercises that help a couple learn more about each other, and ending with a time of Q&A.
- Visit the Gallery | Movement: Solo Exhibit by Christian (Xndrsn) Harbin: Christian (Xndrsn) Harbin’s artworks invite us to explore music and movement in his lines, colors, and composition. Through engaging with the energy and rhythm of his paintings, we are encouraged to consider the movements in our own lives and the internal journeys we take.
- Build your community: Every community has a mission, and every mission has a community behind it. So if you’re interested in building communities for following Jesus together and making an impact in our neighborhoods, please let us know. Community groups have always been a crucial part of Redeemer’s life together, all the more so when communities have been fragmented over the last couple years.
- We are hiring: Do you know anyone who’d be a great fit at Redeemer? We are looking to fill several roles on our team before the end of the year. Check them out and spread the word!
- Volunteer at Youth Group on Friday nights: Build involvement with our amazing middle & high schoolers by joining a weekly pizza dinner at W83, leading small group discussions, and being a Christ-like presence in their lives.
- Be a volunteer for Kids Community Group: KCG is an after school program for west side children 1st grade-5th grade. We meet every Wednesday after school to worship as a family, have pizza, and learn about God’s word. For any questions about registration please contact us at [email protected].
- Register for Redeemer Counseling’s fall Renewal Groups: Renewal Groups combine gospel-centered, biblical truth with some of the best tools from counseling psychology. Each Renewal Group is made up of six to eight people and a professional counselor focusing on a particular area of healing and growth. In each group, you will learn skills as well as receive the encouragement of peers who are on the same journey as you. This fall, RCS has three groups: Your Asian American Journey (for women) Sexual Integrity for Men, and Calming Your Anxious Mind.
- Teach ESL with The Open Door: Each week, lead in-person ESL classes at the W83 Ministry Center and empower immigrants. Commit to Monday or Tuesday evenings.
- Become a Family Friend with Safe Families: Commit to being part of a network that supports isolated parents in New York City. Work with Safe Families for Children to engage with parents for one hour a week for one year. Learn more about how to get involved!