Devotional thought, late in the day:
23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NLT)
I started this morning by heading out to visit my mother. Along the way, I stopped for breakfast a a place I worked during college. Five years or so ago, they remodelled it. I guess the did recently, restory the walls tables and dining counter. It was like being at home, after a long time ago. (the hostess figured out how long ago… nice girl reminding me how old I am!)
On the way, I stopped at my dad’s gravesite, or more exactly, the National Cemetary columbarium – the wall in which his ashes are now kept. The picture here is of his plaque.
Then my mom and I shared quite a few memories over lunch, which in and of itself brought other memories. Dad’s been gone 4 months tomorrow, and yet… it doesn’t seem like its been that long.
Then one of the first songs I leared on the guitar, (gulp 42 years ago) came on among the music they played in the restaurant. Thoughts of the catholic brother who taught me came to mind. Then, I looked up at the television hanging off the ceiling behind my mom, and there was a game at Pepperdine, where i worked for most of the 1990’s. Without a doubt, that University is fhe finest place I’ve worked for, and watching basketball games in the fieldhouse there was always great. In the 14 years since i’ve left, I haven’t seen them on television once, yet this day, on a television in a restaurant some 100 miles from the campus, in a retirement town, there they are?
Then came the news, a reminder that 20 years ago, (while I was at Pepperdine) we suffered the Northridge Earthquake. At the time, Kay and I were living in this cute i bedroom apartment. Memories of seeing the carpent and linoleum ripped in half – the early morning spent on Topanga Blvd with 600 other victims. We would not live in that place again, save for a night without water, electricity, etc, when they said it was safe – only to wake up the next morning with signs we had to rip through, telling us the building was again red tagged and you weren’t allowed to enter. (nice of them to let us know when they made the decision sometime around midnight!)
Memories abound,,, some are good… some are… well, let’s just say some are. They mean something because of the time we invested, the people we knew.
One of the things that really comes alive in Lutheran theology is the understanding of remembering and the sacraments. Luther’s words about starting and ending each day remembering that you are baptised are often repeated, not because of the act itself, but because of the promises given to us,
Even more, the passage above is precious, for it is more than just memories – it is the process of re-living the moment, of our minds dwelling on and in the moment. All of those memories of past times are very important, but this time with Christ, with comprehending with heart and soul as well as mind – that He is with us, that His love meant dieing for us, and bringing us through that death so that we will live with Him….
There are memories, then there is doing this…
May it be ever more than a distant memory….May it be our lives, lived in communion with Him. AMEN