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.
By Rev. Mandy Sayers
Pastor, Covenant UMC, Gaithersburg
I’m a busy mom of two teenagers, and as I write this, we’re getting ready for another school year. I’ve got an amazing church to serve, and I’m the chairperson of a district committee. I’ve got a lot to remember.
I have calendars and lists and systems, none of which ensure that I will remember all of it. I live in fear of standing up a parishioner for our Chat Over Coffee That’s Really About Her Grief or standing up a child waiting for a ride home from play practice. There’s so much to remember.
This is not a new problem, as God’s people have always had a sort of forgetfulness. The Israelites forgot what it was like to be slaves in Egypt and they began to oppress the poor, the alien and the widow. God sent prophets to remind them who they were and what they had forgotten.
Jesus commanded his followers to pass on his teachings and to “remember” him at the Communion table, in
That way to remember is not just “Remember that time Jesus said, ‘Do this’? I think it was a Thursday, right, and he was wearing the blue sandals…” This way to remember actually invokes God’s presence, right then, so that in the sharing of the bread and cup, we can experience the presence, right then, of the risen Christ.
God brings all those past events of God’s faithfulness into the present. We remember, not just with our minds but also with our hearts and even, in
In the end, I know that my mental abilities will not last forever. Indeed, disease or the ravages of time could take the expensive hunk of knowledge I have crammed into my brain.
But as I’ve seen with people who have battled Alzheimer’s, even then, God will still help me “remember” with my spirit, with my heart, what my brain cannot hold, in the sacraments, in worship, in prayer. The gathered community of faith will help me remember, will remember for me when I cannot, and the Holy Spirit will pray for me when I cannot.
After all, Jesus said, “Remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”