“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” - 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
This Sunday, we celebrate All Saints' Sunday, a day the Church has set aside to honor the lives of the faithful who have died over the years and have meant something to our life of faith. I find myself grateful for the saints of this congregation whose faith and witness have helped sustain and encourage me. Today I feel those losses alongside their families, for whom we pray.
All Saints is a day for remembrance - a key word that is central to our understanding of the gospel. The apostle Paul, in retelling the events of the Last Supper in 1 Corinthians 11, refers to Jesus' words in sharing the bread and cup. Paul says he told the disciples to "Do this in remembrance of me." These words should remind us that remembering is actually a performative act. It's something we do and not just something we think about. And in the act of remembering, we find the faithfulness of God who gave us those who have impacted us to this day.
This week, as my family and I have taken time to say goodbye and mourn the loss of my mother, the remembrance of her has been as pervasive in everything we do, as it is painful. As I took down the curtains in my mother’s living room to wash the dust out of them this week, I could almost hear her say: Oh THANK GOD someone is doing that! As we picked songs that reminded us of her for her funeral, I could almost see her dancing in the kitchen. As we talked with the pastor about what we loved most about her, I could feel the deep chasm left by her absence. And I am sure that years from now, whenever I clean something, cook meatloaf, or visit Lake Erie where she always wanted to be -- I will do them in remembrance of my mom -- who taught me to appreciate all of these things.
I hope that as we celebrate All Saints Sunday this weekend, that you will take the time to reflect on the saints in your lives, all the ways in which your life demonstrates the impact they had on you, and where God can be found as you celebrate and give thanks for their memory.