Do this in Remembrance of Me.” Luke 22:19b
They hang on my wall…365…one above the other. As I have grown older, I have found that certain memories are just…well…precious. That seems to be especially true at this time of the year. My memories growing up of Thanksgiving and Christmas always cause me to smile. Two memories that I especially cherish involve two simple things that now are two of my most prized possessions. The first was made possible by the generosity of my oldest brother. A couple of years ago I wrote a story about a 410 shotgun that had belonged to our Daddy. It was a family heirloom. I didn’t who ended up with it, but it turned out it was my brother and he in an incredible act of generosity chose to pass it to me.
It now hangs on the wall in my home office, and it is fired only once a year. You see, Daddy or one of my brothers, used to fire the old 410 on Christmas morning as a sort of wakeup call for my two sisters and me. So now, starting with last year, on Christmas morning, the old 410 once again comes to life and calls us to leave our beds and celebrate. Every day, I glance up at that old 410, and every day it reminds me of days gone by and I am overcome with gratitude. I am thankful for a Daddy and Momma who loved me and a family that could gather with one another and celebrate.
The other thing that hangs on my wall…365…is a plastic Santa Claus face. It has a LED bulb in it that allows it to burn 24 hours a day…and I remember…and I am grateful. You see, when I was a boy, my family had a Santa face just like this one…just.like.this.one. It hung up on our roof attached to our small chimney and it announced that Christmas time had come. I’m sure it came from one of the local stores and probably cost just a few dollars. Well, that old Santa disappeared but I was able to find one on eBay and trust me it didn’t cost $4.50 but do you know what? It was worth every dollar because every day it too reminds me of a Daddy and Momma who made sure, somehow, that we had a wonderful Christmas. It reminds me of a family that could and would gather with one another and celebrate.
So, those days are gone and all but one of my brothers are gone too, but guess what? Those days and those loved ones live on in my memories and in my heart and those two things, an old 410 shotgun and a plastic Santa face from my boyhood days remind me to remember and be grateful. I’ve said more than once if I could remember everything from my childhood, I would have enough Grits’ material to write forever. Smile. I’ve discovered that things can sometimes help us remember and that is important because while some things probably need to slip away…many…perhaps most…need to live on.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus on the night before He died did something crazy like serve supper? If you are familiar with that story, you know it was a pretty simple meal…bread and wine but the meaning was anything but simple. The next day He was going to die on a Roman cross, and He wanted to make sure the guys who followed Him would never forget what it was about. He explained how the bread represented His body broken on that cross and how the wine represented His blood that was shed so that any of us…all of us…who chose to believe could have eternal life. That’s why He said, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” It was His way of saying we should always remember and never forget.
So, what is it in your life that helps you remember? A simple, or elaborate, wedding ring? A watch? Family pictures? Whatever it is, it is there to remind us and cause us to be thankful. Christmas this year falls on a Sunday and we are going to celebrate the Lord’s supper that day at our church. I know it is almost a month away, but I am already looking forward to it. It is going to remind us once again what Christmas and Easter are all about—a God, a Father, a Dearest Daddy, who loves us so much He gave His Son to a stable, a broken world and a Roman cross. Be sure in the hustle and bustle of the holidays to take time to remember and reflect. For me it is an old 410 shotgun, a plastic Santa and an old rugged cross and a heavenly Father who always reminds me, “I’ve got this.” Bro. Dewayne