Monday, April 18, 2011

lenten journal: in remembrance of me

We drove to Hampton, Virginia Sunday after church to surprise our friend Charles who turns fifty tomorrow. We walked into their house around suppertime, ate, and then sat around the table talking as old friends do. Our conversation turned to music and then to the music we grew up on, which is gospel. Thanks to Youtube, we were able to share a few of our favorites, starting with Vestal Goodman and Johnny Cook singing, “Looking for a City.” I know. I’ve written and linked before to several gospel video clips because I do find something there that moves me even though the theology of the songs doesn’t always match up with mine.

One of the singing experiences that had a profound impact on my life was being a part of a production of Celebrate Life, which was a youth musical by Buryl Red and Regan Courtney based on the gospels that was a centerpiece of Baptist youth choirs for many, many years. The songs are receptacles of memories and emotions from long ago; some of them remain essential tracks in the soundtrack of my faith. As Holy Week begins, one in particular appears -- a Communion song called “In Remembrance.”

in remembrance of me eat this bread
in remembrance of me drink this wine
in remembrance of me pray for the time
when God's own will is done
in remembrance of me heal the sick
in remembrance of me feed the poor
in remembrance of me open the door
and let your brother i, let him in
take eat and be comforted
srink and remember too
that this is my body and precious blood
shed for you, shed for you
in remembrance of me search for truth
in remembrance of me always love
in remembrance of me don't look above
but in your heart, in your heart
look in your heart for God
do this in remembrance ofme
do this in remembrance of me
in remembrance of me
After the weekend with Julie and Jay here, a great night with Charles and Jennifer and Samuel in Virginia, and the chance tonight to help out some of my Durham friends on their food truck, I feel full and fortunate. I am grateful that I can look around me and quite easily see the love of God in the faces looking back. As we move through this significant and holy week, I’m carrying this song, and the line in particular that sings:
in remembrance of me always love.

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