memory

Today’s Word: 2 Peter 1:12-21

(photo credit: Bill Chater)

In seminary, I learned the word anamanesis (ἀνάμνησις). This Greek word means “remembrance,” and when using it to talk about communion, or the eucharist, it is an action word.

When we “do this in remembrance” of Christ, we aren’t just remembering Jesus and who he was. It’s not, “oh these are nice memories we have of our loved one.” We are actively recalling what Jesus did and what he taught us to do, we are re-membering ourselves with the Body of Christ, and we are remembering everything that is promised in the receiving of the eucharistic feast. We remember being at the Table with Christ, even as we are at the Table with Christ, and even as we remember that we will once again be at the Table with Christ in the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God. “When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes again,” ministers say with the bread and the cup aloft.

It’s the kind of remembering the author of 2 Peter had in mind when he wrote:

12Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. 13I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, 14since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

19So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:12-19)

In the sacraments, we remember the teaching and actions of Christ like “a lamp shining in a dark place, until the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in [our] hearts.”

May the peace of Christ be with you today.

(I know, I didn’t actually take this photo, and I know, I usually try to use a photo I took specifically for the word. I did take a photo, but once I read the scripture, I knew I wanted to write about communion so I used the photo Bill took on Sunday.)