Monday, November 02, 2009

A Memorial for All the Saints

Every week, we celebrate this meal as a memorial. This means that we enact a reminder for God and His people and the world. As often as we celebrate this meal we show forth the death of Christ until He comes. This meal is a proclamation, an enacted prayer, an appeal to God to act in accordance with the death of Jesus, an appeal to His people to remember and believe, and an appeal to the world to come and find rest and salvation. That’s what we mean when we say this meal is a memorial. But there is more: you and I and all of God’s people get taken up into this memorial. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the great down payment in history, the beginning of what God intends to do for the whole world. Everything that flows from the cross is taken up into this memorial, all the faithful martyrs who shed their blood and whose blood cries out for judgment before the throne of God, all the faithful saints who have dedicated their lives to the service of Jesus, all the self sacrificing mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, children and servants, down through the ages. As we partake of this memorial, we are joined to this memorial. Our lives are not accidental or incidental, our works, our faith, our tears, our pain, our longing, our loves and joys and plans are all taken up into this memorial. And it comes before the throne of God, and it cries out, how long O Lord? When will you fulfill your promises, when will you put all of it right, when will you come and establish our work? And so as we eat and drink together we join that nameless woman who anointed Jesus for burial, that nameless woman who is not lost to the ages, who is not forgotten in history, but who like us and all the faithful saints is remembered to God in this the great memorial, the great remembrance. Here we are assured that God will not forget us, and He will not forget us because our lives are hidden in Jesus. All of our hopes, dreams, hurts, joys, all of it is taken up into this great memorial in Jesus. And God promises to remember, and God promises to never forget. And so we celebrate All Saints Day, and we lift up this great memorial. We eat and we drink and we celebrate the God who does not forget any of His saints and promises to remember and raise us all up.

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