by Jeff A. Jenkins
“And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood” (Luke 22:19-20).
On Christmas Eve four years ago we buried my Mother. It was the most difficult Christmas our family has ever had. It changed forever the way I will view Christmas.
For the first two or three years after my Mother’s passing the whole family would gather at her grave during the Christmas holidays to remember her. We would circle her resting place; join hands, sing, pray, and cry together.
One year that stands out in my mind was a cold, rainy, dreary winter evening. We made our circle, sang a couple of songs and prayed. The older generations went to our vehicles, but the grandchildren stood in the rain for what must have been an hour.
They sang more songs and started telling Maw-maw stories. One moment they were laughing, the next moment they were crying. Why would they do this? Why would they put themselves through this discomfort? Why would we involve ourselves in this ritual?
It was our love for Mom. We remember her because of all she did for us while she was alive. We sang songs she liked, we told stories about her and we prayed because we want to keep her memory alive in our hearts.
Not one of us has ever thought we should rush through this ritual. We have never thought it lasted to long. We have never thought it is too cold or damp or anything else to take the time to remember Mom.
Isn’t this how it should be when we gather to remember our Lord? Shouldn’t we sing songs about him, tell stories that remind us of him, and give thanks to God for what he did for us while he was on earth?
May I encourage you as you gather with the people of God this week not to rush through this beautiful remembrance. Please don’t complain about the length of time you are there. Leave the cares of life behind for just a few moments.
Drink in the fact that Jesus loved you so much that he gave his life for you. Remember how he continues to bless your life everyday. Thank God for the blessing of being with the family during this inspiring moment.
Dear Father, when we are gathered as Your family help us to cherish the opportunity to remember our Savior. Help us, dear God not to rush through this meaningful time. Help us to focus our hearts and our minds on Jesus as we dine together during this precious feast.