One of my favorite television mini-series was originally aired back in 1984-1986 on the pay-cable station Showtime. It was a British series (Goldcrest Productions) called ROBIN HOOD (originally called ROBIN OF SHERWOOD in the U.K.) starring Michael Praed, Ray Winstone, and later Jason Connery (Sean’s son). For any lover of medievalia, merry-olde England, and swashbuckling, this was (and is) a series worth checking out. [c.f. http://www.amazon.com/Robin-Sherwood-Collection-Michael-Praed/dp/B00180IPQW/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1360949302&sr=1-1&keywords=robin+of+sherwood and the Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_of_Sherwood ]
One of the shows themes, indeed, it IS Robin’s motto and mantra of honor was “nothing is forgotten…nothing is EVER forgotten.” Robin uses it as a lodestar in his doomed fight against all the forces of evil…of the fallen “world,” of hatred, domination, and men’s mendacity. His home village of Loxley had been slain to the last woman and child, burned and razed to the ground—never to be located on any map again. But Loxley and her people, and Robin’s dead family, would never be forgotten as long as Robin remembered them; and as long as he told their story to his own new compatriots (Maid Marion, Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlet and Much). It was a deeply affecting chord that resonated with me and with any other “romantic” (in the best sense of the term) and lover of patrimony, tradition, and courage to fight on in the face of overwhelming opposition and sure defeat (worldly defeat). At the denouement of Robin’s life, as he says his final goodbye to Marion (I cried like a baby…ah…too much cheap Bardolino as I was watching, I guess…ahem) he again utters these deep theological words: “Nothing is forgotten…nothing is EVER forgotten.”
There has not been a time which has gone by since those years, as I read every year (per the LBW “read the Bible through in a year”) the long genealogies in 1st Chronicles, when this motto (sort of adopted by me as the Watson crest sobriquet) doesn’t come back to me in a haunting melancholia. For you see, God is so incredibly good and loving and tender that he forgets none of us, EVER. We forget all sorts of people that we should remember. We are an ungrateful, self-centered, ego-worshipping pack of sinful thugs. And when we even think or ruminate for a brief moment on the whole topic of “remembering” we turn even that, in on ourselves and whine like Elijah: “and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” [1 Ki. 19.10] But the Lord is a parent with a parent’s heart: “But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” [Esaias 49. 14-16].
You will die. You hopefully will die after your parents and before your children. But when you and all the friends of your parents are gone…their memories and legacies will begin to dim and flicker out in the “eyes of the satanic world.” When your children (their grand-kids) and your children’s children are gone…most lingering memories of your beloved Mom and Dad are gone. And so it is with all of us who have not been blessed (or cursed) with the burden of notoriety and fame. Napoleon, Hitler, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, and maybe Luther are still remembered. But the faithful and “little saints” of the Lord are remembered by none…save the LORD GOD of SABAOTH, the Creator, Justifier, and Sanctifier of His Saved Sheep-fold!
Remember this the next time you come upon all those strange (and, yes, admit it…boring to you) names in the interminably long and repetitive lists in Genesis, Numbers, and 1st Chronicles. Remember every Saint from Palestine to Galatia; from Cyprus to Corinth, from Rome to the Black Forest and the fjords of Norway; from England to New England to Kansas to the California coast; from Africa to China to Tierra del Fuego…THE LORD has graven them all on the palms of His scarred hands: “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” [Jn. 10.28]
I also try to remember the dear Saint Joseph Barsabas (surnamed Justus)…who was maybe just one “lot” (one straw or vote of yea) away from being numbered with the “12” for all eternity (you of course do remember the man that replaced the fallen and apostate Judas don’t you…Saint Matthias?). I remember Barsabas [Acts 1. 22-27] but only because Jesus remembers me…and all of you…we together rest IH HIM.
Nothing, NO ONE, is forgotten by Jesus…nothing, NO ONE, is EVER forgotten by Jesus!