First Baptist Church Laurens
March 18, 2018
In 2004, an unknown individual was discovered behind the dumpster of the Burger King in Richmond Hill, Georgia. Over the next several days, what the police in Richmond Hill began to understand was that the man could remember almost nothing about his past. In what was an amazing and complex mystery, the man had no identification on him, appeared to have been in some type of an accident and may have been among those traveling up the East Coast at the time as a part of the evacuation of residents effected by Hurricane Charlie.
The man found behind the Burger King that day in 2004 would eventually take the name Benjamin Kyle. Yet, over the next ten plus years, from 2004-2015, he would struggle to remember anything about who he was or the life he had lived. During those ten years, he would bounce between homeless shelters, odd jobs and the ongoing quest to find his identity. He appeared on talk shows, was the feature of a documentary produced by Florida State Students and was helped by everyone from hypnotists, to DNA experts to simple every day folks who were saddened and moved by his story. Ultimately the mystery man from the Burger King in Georgia was discovered to be William Burgess Powell who was born in the late 1940s in Lafayette, Indiana, but even today, much of his history and how he wound up behind the Burger King in Richmond Hill back in 2004 still remain a mystery today. He simply cannot remember. (“Benjamin Kyle”, wikipedia.com).
Forgetfulness is fairly common. We can’t remember where we put our car keys, struggle with the name of the person whose face we recognize in the Wal-Mart and realize that we forget to send Aunt Martha a got because we forgot it was her birthday. Forgetfulness is just a part of every day life. At the same time, even thought forgetfulness is common, there are some things that we need to never forget. When I say this, I am not simply referring to our social security number, our anniversary, or our password to get into our email account.
No, Paul is clear as he wrote to the people in Ephesus that there are some things as people of faith that we need to remember both about how we came into this life of faith and likewise how we are to live it. Remembering these things and living in light of them will make all of the difference in the world both in how we think about ourselves and in terms of how we think about others.