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Make a Memory…


“Without memory, our existence would be barren and opaque, like a prison cell into which no light penetrates; like a tomb which rejects the living. If anything can, it is memory that will save humanity. For me, hope without memory is like memory without hope…” Eli Wiesel in his noble lecture: Hope, Despair, and Memory from 1986


Memory is a profound gift from God!  My son and I just finished his preschool Bible.  He remembered that his favorite story was about the burning bush—read at least 3 months earlier.  I love his memory.  As that beautiful—yet particular—fragrance of vanilla lotion wafts into my nose I am whisked away to the days of a budding romance with my wife.  I love my nose’s memory.  I am also comforted by the words of a vet who shared that my boyhood dog doesn’t cling to memory like we do.  Dogs are all about the present.  These were helpful words as we said goodbye before he was euthanized—he only knew the pain of this day not the joy of his life in our home.  Even a lack of memory is a blessing.  As one who loves family traditions, memory takes center stage.  It forms identity, tells our story, and shapes our future.  Collective memory and personal memory form a foundation upon which we live.

This is the beauty of Wiesel’s eloquent words.  Memories add color on the canvas of life.  Road trips—horrific and movie plot worthy—make some of the best memories (not to mention family vacations).  Scrapbooks and family portraits recall moments in time and bazaar fashion decisions.  Alzheimer’s is a vicious disease that sucks the light of memory from our clutches.  A favorite song in our family has been Bon Jovi’s (You want to) make a memory because it always challenges us to stop spending our time and start investing it!  Invest in making memories.  Let the light penetrate!

This is the yearning of the church that we have failed to articulate.  We repeat it every week at the Table, but it is glossed over.  “Do this in memory of me!”  If this isn’t a “tomb that rejects the living,” I don’t know what is…  The tomb couldn’t contain the resurrected life of Jesus!  Absolutely, communion is everything our confessions say it is.  But it is also our collective memory of what happened on the night He was betrayed.  This is our family tradition—this is the story we sit on grandpa’s lap to hear.  We do it, not just to receive forgiveness, grace, and hope on our lips but to instill memory in our minds and hearts!  The life of the faithful is a dance of memory making for us and for the generations who come after us.

Truth be told, it is this memory—this reality—that truly lets the Light penetrate the darkness.  It is this story that brings abundant life.  It is this celebration dinner that breaks the chains and sets the captives free.  Do this—Eat and Drink This—in Memory of Me!  Jesus is our savior—will you remember Him and make His story a part of your family tradition and memory.  Not just by going to church—but by being the church in your home, at work, at school, at play, and on that long, horrific and movie plot worthy road trip?


One Comment leave one →
  1. 21September2011 07:51

    Thanks Scott! Remembering memories of love and laughter and God’s goodness!

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