I have heard these words a thousand times, maybe literally a thousand times. It used to be once a month, at the church I was raised in. Now it’s weekly. I like that, actually.
I remember feeling deeply connected, awash in memories and thoughts when I “took communion.” Something happened in that moment that I could not describe as a young boy, and perhaps still cannot as a man.
Last night I heard a word on the Eucharist. The Thanksgiving. It was a more sacramental view of the bread and cup than I was raised with, but it was profound none the less.
And I really got stuck on the words “in remembrance of me.” Because that really seems to be an insufficient definition of what is taking place within me, you, and those around us. So this morning I looked that word up, anamnesis. Brother Brent used it, and I was curious as to its the entire, full bodied meaning.
It does mean to call to remembrance, to remember, to bring up. But there seems to be nuance to this word. It can also mean the obtaining of a patients medical history by a physician, either through others or from the patient himself. That someone else is actually bringing these things to light.
I gain the sense that what is being said here is that in this act, we remember, or are caused to remember, by Christ himself. That this is actually a place where time literally stands still, where eternity is open, and we hear the Shepherds voice.
I know that this is true for me. This is what I sensed as a child.
Now I am light years from that simple place and time, but in quietly reflecting, and taking the bread and cup, I hear His words. I am made to remember Him, I am sitting at the table, and asking “Master, is it me, am I the one?” Or perhaps I walk out from that meal, and in my misguided zeal cut off someones ear.
It does not matter. We are imperfect, bound to have warts and wrinkles, real or spiritual. But “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
I need to remember Him. Drink from His cup, eat at his table, be washed again. I need to meet Him, often, and be changed.
What happens to bread and wine, when or how, I do not know.
John Donne said it best.
“He was the Word that spake it, he took the bread and brake it, and what that Word did make it, I do believe and take it.”