26 July 2011

Meditation: "Remember Who You Are"

Then Jesus took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." --Luke 22:19

Before his death, Rabbi Zusya said, "In the coming world, they will not ask me: "Why were you not Moses?" They will ask me: "Why were you not Zusya?"  --Martin Buber
*****
Dear  Friends,

I've taken up running again. Over the last month, I've actually managed to get out 2-3 times a week to run about 3 miles each time. And it has felt great! But something else has happened, too, something unexpected. I've remembered who I am. Or, less dramatically, I've remembered an important part of who I am.

I've been running on the middle school track so that I can record my running pace. I used to think it was boring to run around in circles on a track, but lately I've really been liking it. The first time I ran on the track, memories came flooding back to me. The smell of the sun on the track surface, the sight of the lane markings, the muscle memory of running on the inside lane--all of it brought back memories of running on the track at my hometown high school in Pennsylvania. I was on the track team and spent a lot of time on that track. I recalled the excitement of running competitively in track meets. Sometimes at night, after finishing my shift at a fast food joint, I'd stop by the track and run 3 or 4 miles before heading home. Somehow, these memories touched on deeper remembrances, too. They stirred that youthful dimension of my heart (even as I close in on 40!) and reminded me of things that I cared about then--many of which I still care about today. After each run, as I cool down, I have this sense that, "Yes! This is what it feels like to be me."

It can be so hard in either the hustle and bustle or the humdrum ordinariness of each day to remember who we are--what we care about, what is important to us, what we think God is up to in our lives, what it feels like when we are most who we are. That's why it is so important to do something that we love to do--something that helps us reconnect with who we really are, who God created us to be. It's different for all of us--running, creating artwork, hiking, writing, reading, playing sports...whatever. If it is an activity that helps us to remember, then God is in it, too, because of course God is the ultimate source of who we are.

In worship we regularly do something that helps us to remember who we are in God. One of the most fundamental practices of Christians is to share in Holy Communion (or the Lord's Supper, or the Eucharist). For Christians, when the bread is broken and shared, we are re-membered as God's people. It is a moment when we recall who we are as people seeking to be faithful to Jesus Christ. We are reminded that Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. We are reminded that Jesus did not resort to violence, but instead called on his followers to sacrificial love. We are reminded that Jesus did not come to cast people into hell, but instead opened his arms wide in a welcoming embrace of grace.

Running and receiving communion. These days, they help me to remember who I am and who I am in God.

What helps you to remember who you are?

Blessings on your week,

Jeremy

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