With Tier 3 Restrictions in Scotland, and degrees of lockdown elsewhere, comes a fresh wave of discouragement, discontent and concern for people’s wellbeing. There are many breaking & broken people in our community & world, through: lost loved ones, fear of untreatable illness, restricted freedom, lost innocence, fractured image and shattered self-esteem, fear and reality of unemployment, enslaving addictions, Alzheimer’s & dementia, etc.
But I want to speak HOPE into wherever we find ourselves today and to encourage positive, wholesome and healing ‘remembrance’. Without ‘hope’ we wither, and without ‘remembrance’ we are hopelessly ‘dismembered’.
Being unable to attend the usual remembrance services need not stop us ‘remembering’ with gratitude those who gave their lives, loves, limbs and lifestyles for our protection and freedom. Thus, at Fullarton Connexions, we are creating a field of painted pebble poppies, with the names of those from our community who gave the ultimate sacrifice written on the pebbles’ underside, and remembering in a period of silence during our 10.30am service.
The opposite of ‘remember’ is not forget, but ‘dismember’ and by remembering the fallen in this way we declare that they are still a part of our community, at least in memory, and at most in the Communion of Saints that Jesus promised to ‘remember’ through his death, resurrection, return and reign.
The Lord Jesus Christ, who allowed himself to be cruelly killed for our sake, is the same Lord Jesus who was put back together again by His loving Father, & is in the business of putting us humans back together again too, body, mind, spirit and soul. This is The Ultimate Hope Jesus gives for our long term future and in day-to-day living, as he helps us piece together our lives into something positive and beautiful in the loving service of others. He puts us back together again, as His Body (The Family of God), each of us called to be a precious part of His piecing (peacing) together a whole people, loved & saved by Grace.
All of this is made harder by pandemic restrictions. But we must not allow discouragement to ‘dismember’ us from one another and the Good, God wants to do through us. Let’s allow God, and one another, to jog our memories as to who may be missed or left out of our care and concern, ‘dismembered’.
It is thoroughly disturbing to lose one’s memory and to care for someone suffering from dementia / Alzheimer’s disease, but what a privilege to be the ones to ensure our loved ones are never dismembered from who and whose they are. With the possibility of eventually losing my own memory & marbles, I take great comfort knowing that the Christ, in whom all things hold together (Colossians 1:17), will never let me go and continue my connection to him and his eternal family, come what may. As Jesus said, “Whoever remembers me before others, I will also remember before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).