As I type my words here, the computer stores them and plays them back easily. For my brain to store and recall the same words requires... trickery!
Thus, when I learned to read music I used tricks like “Every Good Boy Does Fine” and “F A C E”.
Walking helps me memorize. As I unwind my points to an audience, I also revisit a crack in the sidewalk, a cardinal’s chirp, and the smell of barbeque as I passed by my neighbors’ door last week. Connections are essential to memory even if they are weird connections.
Repetition also helps, but timing is everything. A mean fifth grade teacher I now bless made us memorize American History documents. The quicker to put in my time on the Declaration of Independence, “When in the course…”, I tried rattling through the assigned first half of it thirty times in thirty minutes! Did it stick? No. My subsequent standup stuttering did not win me an “A”.
Next was the Preamble of the US Constitution, “We the people…” I reviewed this once per hour, peeking at a 3x5 card around ten times a day for several days. Yay, an “A”!
Then came the Gettysburg Address “Four-score and seven years....” I got a new card, but checked it only twice a day. After a couple of weeks this was not working. So I stepped up to once per hour. I made a papier-mâché Abe Lincoln puppet on a black sock to help me out. The PTA applauded!
Humans simply are not good at remembering!
A recurring message from Jesus in the days near Calvary was simply, “Remember me.” He tells stories of absentee landlords, delayed bridegrooms, ... and servants who forget.
Crowds praise Jesus, then call for his death.
What of his closest followers, the ones who saw him walk on water, heal the sick, and raise the dead? They ran away.
Jesus knew we would forget him. However, he came up with a way to counter that forgetfulness:
Then Jesus took some bread,
broke it, and
gave it to the apostles, saying,
“This is my body, which I am giving for you. Do this to remember me.”
(Luke 22. See also 1 Corinthians 11.)
To help me remember, Jesus rehearses a demonstration full of sensual connections: Bread. Wine. Friends around the table.
Some Christians understand Jesus to mean, “celebrate the springtime Passover meal to remember me.”
In view of some meetings of the early church, the Surge group observes the Lord’s Supper weekly.
I cherish all the times I can participate with other Christians in the Lord's Supper. Nevertheless, I once asked myself this question:
How often should I remember Jesus?
I acquired the habit of considering Jesus whenever I touch bread or a grape product. Does my incredibly frequent celebration diminish the experience? Quite the contrary. Memory of good things is precious and can't be repeated enough.
At least three families in this small congregation have older members afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease or other fading memory. I have been particularly impressed with Lou. At times he has been cantankerous. At Kirby Road—not at The State—we had to watch for half-eaten donuts placed back with the other donuts. Still, though he might not remember my name, Lou has frequently looked me in the eye and exclaimed, “I love you!”
I hope that when when I'm reduced to my last two heart-felt sentences, they are, “I love you!" and “God loves you!”
How can I insure that failing neurons hold that line? By making connections now, with each person God brings my way. By deliberately participating in special and ordinary events that connect me and all nearby to Jesus.
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus,
about seven miles from Jerusalem.
They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.
As they talked and discussed these things with each other,
Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;
but they were kept from recognizing him.
When he was at the table with them,
he took bread,
broke it and
began to give it to them.
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him....
At The Surge we love doing things together... that includes writing a blog! Here are a few of our main contributing authors:
Our fearless leader, Dwaine is the lead pastor at The Surge. His experience in counter terrorism with the CIA prepared him for ministry and he likes dogs and babies even more than E does.
E (short for Eric Reiss) is the Wingman at The Surge and likes dogs, music, Mexican food, his wife Karen and his little girl Evangeline... not necessarily in that order.