I was glad to read recently that drinking coffee can help your short-term memory loss. You see, I’m a forgetful, coffee-drinking preacher.
Having a bad memory is not good when you are a minister. When I was pastor of Union Baptist Church in Roxie, Mississippi, our treasurer had a car wreck. I went to see her, and before leaving, I offered to pray for her. As I began the prayer, I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten her name! The church only had about 35 people attend each Sunday, so it wasn’t like I had a lot of names to recall. Anyway, being the sophisticated young professional that I was, I blurted out, “What’s your name?” She told me with a sad voice it was “Jean,” and then I prayed aloud for God to heal Jean, and silently I prayed for God to get me out of there alive.
My pastor friend in New Orleans, Joe McKeever, tells how he was asked to visit a member’s sister in the hospital and pray for her. Forgetting her name, his prayer sounded strange: “Please bless this dear brother’s sister, Father.”
That reminds me of a forgetful moment I had when I lived in New Orleans. I was driving home from church. To my surprise, a New Orleans cop turned on his blue lights and pulled me over. As soon as I stopped, he got on his loudspeaker and announced loudly enough for the whole city to hear, “There’s a book on your car.” I got out, and saw that my black leather
Bible was sitting on the roof of the car, just above the driver’s seat. Apparently I left it there after church when I was talking to somebody. The Bible was open and its pages were in disarray, and the Sunday bulletin was gone, but at least my Bible didn’t fall off the car. It would be hard to explain to my Bible professor why I trampled the Word of God with my tires.
Red-faced, I retrieved the Bible, and the policeman smiled and drove away.
All of this reminds me (you see, the coffee-drinking is helping my memory already!) of how many people get forgetful at Christmas. Folks put up their holiday decorations and do their holiday shopping and send holiday cards with “Season’s Greetings,” and attend holiday parties and holiday parades. But they forget what the holiday is about.
This Christmas, don’t forget to Whom we pray. His name is Jesus. This Christmas, don’t forget the Book. It’s called the Bible, and it has good news for you, that a Savior, Christ the Lord, was born in Bethlehem. May I make a suggestion? This Christmas, before you open any presents, curl up with a hot cup of coffee, open the Good Book to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, and read the story to your family. You may find yourself saying, “Ah, I remember.”