Dear Friends: Remembering


What does it mean to Remember? We remember all sorts of different events and happenings in our lives, we remember our loved ones. And we remember those who have made great sacrifices.

In Christian theology we have a special sense of remembering, drawing from both Greek and Jewish ideas. It is summed up in the Greek word Anamnesis. It is the word used in the Gospels for the remembrance of the last supper. It does not just mean to recall or to look back, but something deeper.

When the Passover is celebrated the Jewish people did not just remember that they were delivered from slavery in Egypt, they sought to remember as if they were there with their ancestors on the night before they fled for the desert, sharing lamb and unleavened bread.

For the Greek philosophers following Plato the word meant remembering in a way that changed who you are – a process of becoming through remembering.

So as we remember we do not just acknowledge a past event that has limited impact on ourselves, our personalities, our way of life. But rather we acknowledge that through remembering we are made who we are, we are changed, and we participate in the events that happened in the past.

This is Remembrance. Not to simply acknowledge the sacrifice made by others on our behalf, but to be shaped by that sacrifice. Not to glory in the suffering of others but to take their offering of themselves to heart that we too may be willing to offer our lives in service and love.

Such love is as strong as death and burns like a blazing fire, a mighty flame, the very flame of God’s passion. It is God’s love that burns in the hearts of those who gave their lives for others, and it is God’s love that calls us to remember

So let us make our Remembrance this November. Through formal actions and words yes. But also with thankfulness and love for others. For this community, for those who gave their lives.

Almighty God,
In whom we live and move and have our being,
Who remembers the sins of his children no more.
Transform us by this remembrance that we may burn brightly with your loving Spirit.
That in your son Jesus Christ, we too may be remembered in his eternal Kingdom. Amen

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