Fourth Wednesday of Advent: God Remembers Us
Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior[a] for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon[b] us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
—Luke 1:67-79 (Read Luke 1)
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant.
God remembers us.
I have spent my life believing and working toward the idea that the direction of many people’s lives is shaped during their college years.
Mine was. My heart was shaped by campus ministry at Carnegie Mellon University.
The trajectory of my life changed. Through the wounds of the past and fears of the future, I was discipled by people who loved Jesus. I grew to know Him more deeply and love Him, too.
After graduating, Dave and I were getting married and then I was to join him in working with the CCO at Edinboro University of PA. But there was one not-so-small problem. The pastor of Dave’s partner church had just left, causing the church to fold shortly before we got married.
I don’t think I realized the full impact of losing that partner church at the time. But it was mammoth. How were we going to raise the money to continue the ministry? Would we have to supplement our income for a while with other jobs? Would we have to leave campus ministry—even though we both believed we were called to reach college students with the gospel?
It was a difficult time for us, a time of questioning and discouragement. Our longing hearts were denied. The direction of our lives was changed. What we assumed would be an easy path—fulfilling our goal of getting married and doing ministry together—became almost insurmountable.
But God remembered us.
Long before the partner church folded, God put into place the pieces that would lead to a new partnership. Unbeknownst to me, the solution to this challenging situation was born during my student days.
Margaret Craig, a Shadyside Presbyterian Church member, loved the student ministry at CMU. When she saw students at a fellowship meeting at the church, sitting on the uncarpeted floor, she carpeted the room. Shortly before she died, she graciously hosted a dinner to meet and treat all of us. She cared about college students and about the future of the church.
While Dave and I were brainstorming ways to supplement our income (part-time jobs at McDonald’s?), Margaret Craig’s daughter Margueritte was determining how best to use a trust fund she had inherited. She contacted my college campus minister to find out more about the campus ministry that her mother loved and what the needs were.
While Dave and I were enjoying our honeymoon in Cape Cod, we were informed that the position at Edinboro was fully funded. This news may have been the best wedding present we received! That trust fund provided for our positions in Edinboro for ten years—the entire time we were there.
God remembered us.
When God remembers, it means He is mindful of us and acts on our behalf. Throughout the history of salvation, God put into place His plan for us. He remembered His holy covenant, and at the right time, Jesus was born.
His wasn’t a last-minute plan, but an expression of God’s faithfulness—the same faithfulness Dave and I experienced in a very tangible way so many years ago and continue to rely on today.
Fleming Rutledge writes, “What the church holds on to, by grace through faith, is two things: we hold on to memory, and we hold on to hope. We remember the great things that God has done for us, and we hold on to a hope that amounts to a certainty.”
God remembered us, and so we remember. Looking back on that time gives us hope.
—Ginger Weeber is the Gift & Stewardship Officer, raising money to sustain and grow the CCO’s ministry on college campuses. She first connected with CCO ministry during her undergraduate years at Carnegie Mellon University.