Last night we talked about communion as remembrance. Over the past week I've thought a lot about this. I discovered that remembering is far more than just mental ackowledgement, looking back at past events.
True remembering involves the heart as well as the head. It is about connecting the past and the present--not just mentally, but emotionally, spiritually, even physically. It is also linked to imagination--which helps us as we remember on these different levels.
When I was young I spent a lot of time daydreaming about the future--being a famous actor, or an all-star baseball player. I realized that in recent years I spend less time thinking about what lies ahead, and more time looking back--reflecting on wonderful memories--my wedding, the birth of my children, special times with family and friends, funny stories...
I was surprised how powerful remembering can be, and how physical. When I remember my father, who died four years ago, I close my eyes and I can see him, smell him (he was a real outdoorsman), I can even feel the stubble on his cheek when I hugged and kissed him.
A few weeks ago Brady (who is 2) got a balloon, and played with it for hours, throwing it, batting it around the room, trying to catch it. Yesterday I was reading to him, and he was identifying and naming objects in a book. He came to a picture of a balloon. I watched in amazement as Brady reached toward the book, and pantomimed picking the balloon up, throwing it up in the air, and batting it with his hand, while laughing at the memory.
Remembering became emotional and physical for him. He was fully engaged in the memory, using his imagination to go back and experience the balloon all over again.
That's what communion should be for us; remembering Jesus and the last supper with our thoughts, emotions, spirits, even our bodies (hence the eating and drinking). In addition to looking back, we also remember that Jesus said He would be with us always, so when we gather and take communion, Jesus is just as present with us as he was with the disciples.
I experience this every Sunday when we gather at Convergence--this incredible sense God's presence as we eat, talk, listen, pray, and sing, and share our lives with each other.