Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Gift of Remembering

So much of my everyday brings a memory of Robb.  Errands, routines, songs, commercials, scents, flavors, recipes, restaurants - it's an endless list.  I love when people tell me something they remember about him; sometimes they spark a memory I haven't thought of in a while, and sometimes they tell me a story I had never heard at all. 

It's a beautiful something, that gift of remembering.  So many things I do 'in remembrance of him.'

I have begun to think about how empty my days would feel if I had a checklist of tasks required to honor the memory of him.

Light this candle. 
Look at this picture. 
Follow this recipe. 
Pour this cereal. 
Fill this gas tank. 
Listen to this song.

All of those carry implicit meaning for me, a natural memory.  But they would quickly become meaningless if I considered them a mindless routine to ensure I had honored him.

I think of those words from Jesus: "Take this in remembrance of me."

I imagine his disciples and closest friends had no trouble at all - their minds were likely flooded with scents and sounds and tastes that brought him to the surface again and again.  They couldn't keep from thinking of him over a meal of bread and wine.

Perhaps we have turned this tradition of Communion into an empty checklist, when all he asked was that we come together, eat, and remember.

***

"How odd would it seem to have been one of the members of the early church, shepherded by Paul or Peter, and to come forward a thousand years to see people standing in line or sitting quietly in a large building that looked like a schoolroom or movie theater to take Communion.  How different it would seem from the way they did it, sitting around somebody's living room table, grabbing a hunk of bread and holding their own glass of wine, exchanging stories about Christ, perhaps laughing, perhaps crying, consoling each other, telling one another that the Person who had exploded into their hearts was indeed the Son of God, their Bridegroom, come to tell them who they were, come to mend the broken relationship, come to marry them in a spiritual union more beautiful, more intimate than anything they could know on earth."

~ Donald Miller

7 comments:

Jaimie said...

I love Donald Miller. It's worth reading all of his books.

JeninIL said...

Wow...so powerful! Thank you!

Jan Verhoeff said...

I went to a church several years ago where communion was exchanged among "friends" at a table setting, where we discussed our favorite memories of Christ in our lives. It was an amazing time of fellowship and joy, where we were filled up with the Holy Spirit. I've never experienced that kind of filling since that time, although I do sense His presence in our church. Perhaps, we should mention this kind of fellowship/communion as an alternative to the current line of continuum? Perhaps this would strengthen all of us!

Yesterday was the one year mark, for mom... Her memories are fresh and whole still, and fill my home. I can't imagine not having those memories.

Erin said...

This is beautiful...communion will never look the same to me again. Absolutely love the richness this brings. Thank you.

Jamie said...

I love this quote! It is such an awesome visual. It is so easy to take these things that are meant to bring us closer in our intimate relationship with Christ and turn it into 'works.'

Kerri said...

I really love this, Tricia - thanks so much for sharing it.

Happy Working Mom said...

What a wonderful way to think of communion! Our church did communion in people's homes a couple of years ago and I loved it, for these very reasons. Thank you so much for this post!