On Remembering: Embracing New Life Through Past Faithfulness

“Bread and Wine,” Albert York, 1966

“Bread and Wine,” Albert York, 1966

This coming Monday is Memorial Day. It is a day in which we remember those who have died in active military service. Jesus reminded us that “No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) I am grateful for those sacrifices, just as I am grateful for Jesus’ sacrificial death for the salvation of the world.

I was listening to an interview about Communion recently where a definition of “remember” was offered as not reliving the past, in our minds or otherwise, but rather to breathe new life into the present by embracing the past faithfulness of others and walking out that same faithfulness in our own lives today.

Jesus prefaced his statement above with, “This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) As Christians we are to live lives shaped by the cross of Christ. Our remembrance of him should not simply be a retelling of his death and resurrection, but an embracing of his faithfulness by loving others as Jesus loves us and as we ourselves would want to be loved.

Just as it would dishonor Jesus by living our “saved” lives only for ourselves, it also dishonors those who have died for our country if we don’t find a way to share the love. May our devotion to the commonwealth of God bleed over into our “American” lives by loving our neighbor as ourself.

Grace and peace,

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