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The word is...remember

November 1, 2017

...well said

Ancient church mothers and fathers often greeted one another with the phrase, “Give me a word.” This greeting led to the sharing of insights and wisdom. Today we continue this tradition with this monthly column.

remember

By Rev. Mandy Sayers
Pastor, Covenant UMC, Gaithersburg

At first, it seems that Thanksgiving is frankly about the food. (And the football).  Just the word “Thanksgiving” makes my mouth water, and I can smell turkey cooking and taste my grandmother’s gravy.  And, oh, there’s the biscuits. And the cranberry sauce. And the green beans and mashed potatoes. And the post meal Turkey Coma, and the parade and the football.

Thanksgivings of the past have all merged into a sort of banquet table of abundance in my memory. But the more I sit with my turkey-flavored memories, and the older I get, the more I come to see that it’s not the food that makes the memory sweetest.

It’s the people I ate with.

It’s faces around the table, and the latest batch of new additions, sometimes kin to me, sometimes invited in by marriage or, at least, Serious Dating. Remembering means snapping beans with people who are now at heaven’s table and hearing the laughter and the stories that make us who we are. Thanksgiving is about seeing the blessings that God gives us every day of the year, all piled up on one big table, and all the people we love that we can possibly fit into the dining room, living room and kitchen.

What if Thanksgiving could be all month long (minus the excess calories)? What if the act of thanksgiving, the practice of gratitude, was something we all did together this month? Remembering each day, the people and stories that tell us we belong to God and were bought with a price might be just the practice for a blustery November.  After all, we go from the communion table of All-Saints, and the gathering of those witnesses who call us to remember who we are in Christ, to Christ the King Sunday, reminding us that Jesus is Lord, in a world where so many others seem to want the job.

Will you join me in remembering, in practices of gratitude, this month? I’ll see you at the table, where Jesus feeds us all.

If you want to bring the cranberry sauce, I think Jesus would be good with it.

By Rev. Daryl Williams
Pastor, St. Paul UMC, Oxon Hill

My wife has recently been channeling my mother. You see, years ago, my mother came up with this statement, “If your head wasn’t attached to your neck you’d lose that, too.” It seems that my constant misplacement of keys and gloves, and occasionally a shoe, led my mother to the belief that I simply could not remember anything, including body parts if they were not attached.

So it amazed me when last week after innocuously forgetting to pick up milk, move one load of laundry to the dryer, and briefly, briefly, misplacing the car in a parking lot, my wife said to me, “You would forget your head if it wasn’t attached to your neck.”

If you listened to my wife and my mother, you would think that I have a horrible memory. The problem is, I actually have a great memory; it’s just very selective. While names, milk and car locations escape me, there are some things that I will never forget.

I will always remember playing with my Dad as a child while we watched PBS. I will always remember the first football game I played in that my mother attended. I will always remember where I was when I decided that I was going to ask my wife to marry me. I will always remember the night my son was born. There simply are some things I will forget and others that I will always remember.

What you choose to remember says a lot about you. Take the time to remember the important things in life. Take time to remember the feelings and experiences you have with the people you love. Take time to remember the big events in life that shaped you into the person you are today. Take some time to remember that in good times and bad times, God loves you and other people do also.

And should you not remember where you put the car from time to time, just remember to push the panic button on the remote to set off the alarm. You’ll find it.

 

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