Those are the words most often used by media to report the death of a celebrity. Maximilian Schell is dead at 83 and “he’s best remembered for his role in a 1961 film. I hear this phrase used often. A baseball player dies and he’s best remembered for his RBI record. A singer dies and she’s best remembered for a dance song she did in the 70’s. I know what these people …are trying to say. They are saying “here’s a highlight in this person’s life. But if old Maximillian were my dad, I would be calling them out and saying, “Not by me. He’s best remembered by me for his faithfulness, or for his leadership in the home, etc.” I can only hope that Schell is best remembered by those who knew him for things more significant than a few acting jobs.
All of this made me think about what we are best remembered for. Now deceased, Brother Anthony McNulty seems to be best remembered for his love for Jesus which showed in his life. When we stand before God on judgment day, will God say, “I best remember you for the way you acted, sang, or danced?” Probably not. But God will remember when a man lived each day to tell about Jesus. God will remember a man who lived simply, humbly, and always demonstrating the love of Christ.
Mary, Mother of Jesus, is remembered for carrying the Christ child in her womb. Mary Magdalene is remembered for anointing Jesus for burial by sacrificing a costly vial of perfume. Stephen is remembered for teaching the truth placing himself in grave danger. A thief is remembered for speaking the truth when everyone else mocked Jesus. A Centurion is remembered for being profoundly affected by Jesus’ death.
I suppose we will all be remembered for something. Will we be remembered for doing a movie or for having winning a baseball game in 1972? Or will we be remembered for being a hard nosed, mean so and so in business? Will we be remembered for letting our children die in their souls because we were devoted to something useless? This is an important question. What are we going to be largely remembered for?