There is a New Testament Greek word that conveys a different meaning than what we moderns think of when we say remember; the word is ‘anamnesis’ – which means to bring the past into the present moment (at least something close to that). We tend to remember some things vividly – the colors, the smells, the sounds, the texture, and words. Other things we tend to file momentarily and then seem lost forever. Today is a day of remembrance. We remember a long ago Passover meal in a dusty middle eastern country where a man and his brotherhood gathered to remember their own heritage and escape from Egypt in the middle of the night. They remember how they were passed over because of blood on the doorposts. Now this meal would take on new meaning. It would be a new kind of Passover. It would be the passover for sin and hate because of the blood on a Roman cross. For so many this is an ordinary Thursday. Go to work if you have it, grab lunch, a few more hours tick away, run the kids to practice, and collapse on the couch or chair or bed. Routine. Yet, it is anything but routine when you remember. “Do this to remember,” he said.
Remember is like the word holy. We take it to mean something that it does not really mean. Holy really refers to something belonging to God. It is not a condition that you earn. All creation is holy because it all belongs to God. So is this Thursday when you remember – you enter into the Holy of Holies as you remember and bring what was past into the present. When you do that, you are reclining at the table with the others and you are hearing the words spoken as though for the first time – “Given for You.” You then make real the love, forgiveness, meaning, and purpose for life and living.