There is this interesting story in Genesis 40 where a man named Joseph is locked in prison with a cupbearer and a baker. If you’re not familiar, he is in prison because he was set up by the wife of a high ranking officer in the Pharaoh’s army named Potiphar. Basically, Potiphar’s wife had made a pass at Joseph and he declined her advances. To save face, she lied and he ended up in prison. Anyway, Joseph is an interesting character who has this remarkable ability to interpret dreams and while they are in prison the cupbearer and the baker ask him to interpret theirs. It is revealed in the cupbearer’s dream that he will go before the Pharaoh and find favor. In verse 14 of the story, there is this very interesting line that I wanted to share with you. Here, Joseph says to the cupbearer: “Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house.”
“Remember me.” I love this phrase. It can be found all over scripture. It is used by several authors to describe God’s favor upon them and the Psalmist and others cry out many times pleading, “remember me, O God!” It is in the New Testament as well- upon recognizing Jesus as the Messiah the thief next to him on the cross calls out to him: “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
I think this is a universal heart cry. We want to be remembered. We want to leave a legacy of some kind. We want to matter. Sometimes we want this so badly that we work really, really hard so that someone might notice us. Fact is, in business we sometimes skip the work and go straight to making sure that our names are on the lips of higher ups. Right? What’s the phrase? “Its not what you know, but…”
But, here’s the thing. This doesn’t work in God’s economy. In God’s economy it’s not who you know, but who knows you. The truth is that even if you do everything right, the cupbearer might forget to mention you to the Pharaoh, as was the case for Joseph. And if we’re honest, sometimes the thief, who, make no mistake was guilty, will have his name remembered. Because here is the thing: what we do is not what makes us valuable; It’s who we are that does. We have innate value because we are part of creation. I want this to be absolutely clear: People are not their production.
It is so important that we remember people. Not because of your skill, or what you produce, or even your successful leadership. But because you have shared yourself. If you have been with this organization for five years you have offered more than 10,000 hours to us. Sure, you have given your talents and abilities and knowledge. You have helped produce financial gain, but more than this you have given your heart, your unique self, to this community. This is why we stop to remember and to express gratitude. So, thank you. Thank you for sharing you with the rest of us. We are all better for it.