Much of pastoral work is in fact the work of reminding.
When I preach, for example, I am (usually) not so much teaching people new truths but instead reminding them of ancient truths that they have perhaps forgotten. Or chosen to disregard.
Just as often, preaching is a reminder of how those ancient truths actually apply to current living.
When I make a visit to the hospital or nursing home, I stand in as a visual reminder that God is involved and active in people’s lives, even as they wrestle with illness or struggle with convalescence.
When people come for marriage counseling, the very office in which we meet is a reminder that God’s heart beats with a desire for marriages to be stable, strong, and loving. My words can bring either a comforting or challenging reminder of what God has already said about husbands and wives.
When people come for personal counseling on a myriad of other issues, my use of the bible or my words of advice best serve to remind people of God’s enduring love and faithfulness. I hope to remind people of what they already know but have perhaps forgotten — that God is bigger than any addiction, obstacle, or frustration they face.
Are these new & revolutionary truths? Of course not.
They are ancient ones we all too often overlook.
So my pastoral colleagues and I — when we get it right — are here to remind you that you are surrounded, protected, challenged, and loved by a God whose word is clear and true.
What do you need to be reminded of today?