For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
I've been feeling nostalgic the last few days, as a new group has been formed among several of us who grew up in and around Spencer, Indiana. As I approach my fortieth year since graduation, the memories of those days in Latin class, going to the Drive In and creating homecoming floats for parades, seem to come to life as other friends share their memories as well. I recognize that we are a living time capsule, ready to be opened, and to once again cast our eyes on what once was.
It makes me wonder about the times when those who walked with Jesus would gather around and "remember." In moments that were more than just breaking of bread and sips from a blessing cup, I can only imagine how they shared of moments when they were dirty from dusty roads, remembering that "one time" when Peter thought he could walk on water, and surely the afternoon when they saw Lazarus emerge from the tomb.
Yes, I can only imagine what those conversations must have been like.
I am drawn to remember nights when we would lay outside on the ground and stare at the sky, as fireflies would compete with stars that seemed to be so much brighter than they are today. How we would listen to the corn literally stretch, crack and grow, as it reached higher and higher. The distant sound of a calf who cried for its mother, and the occasional screech of an owl as it left the branches of the high pine tree branch.
The gospel is meant to be like that for us. To breathe life, while bringing hope, peace, and unconditional love. For the times when we find ourselves feeling lonely, confronting impossible challenges, and when we hold one another. As we lift common words together to the One that is in heaven, "hallowed be Thy name..."
I am driven by a faith that begins with the resurrected Jesus and fed by the memories and experiences of those who have lived a faithful life, filled with events that become memories of how their faith sustained and shaped each step. For us, these memories help us to understand how God can proclaim to be the great "I am," while always being present for each breath we encounter.
I am grateful for those who have shared memories, how those days have shaped our understanding of the world, and how we are drawn to be community today.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams is the author of the book, "Remember Me When..." and is a former hospice chaplain and pastor.