- Rev. Justin Montague
What's your most unforgettable memory? Let us know in the comments.
There is something memorable about those, ‘I remember where I was when…’ moments of life, national or world events, speeches or announcements, some good and some not so good, that stay with us. National sport amongst others certainly creates many unforgettable memories.
I remember where I was on ‘Super Saturday’ when Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all secured Gold for Britain in the athletics at the Olympics London 2012 and I remember where I was when Andy Murray secured his first Wimbledon title in 2013. I remember where I was when Jonny Wilkinson scored the drop goal in the last minute of the 2003 Rugby World Cup final against Australia and I remember where I was when England lost on penalties in a football tournament in 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2012 and of course 2021 – so close!
You will of course have your own, ‘I remember where I was moments…’ personal to you and those shared with others.
Something with much more far-reaching implications than the highs and lows of a sporting contest was in March of last year with the announcement at number 10 Downing Street by our Prime Minister Boris Johnson, that the nation was locking down and the real impact of a worldwide pandemic suddenly hit home.
Our memory forms us, it has an impact on who we are as individuals, as a community and a society. Memories of experiences in this pandemic will remain with us forever and undoubtedly change us as people and as a nation. Memory informs, both positively and negatively, and impacts our decision making and therefore our future. It also keeps the events of the past active in our lives. The Early Church Fathers spoke of memory as being ‘a power of the soul.’
“Do this in remembrance of me.”
These were the profound words of Jesus Christ as he shared a final meal with his friends, the last supper of bread and wine before he went to the cross. A simple but yet so powerful instruction to remember, to commemorate, to celebrate a life that left an indelible mark on not just his disciples in that room, but with such significance for us and the entire world.
One of the many things that has been sorely missed as Church is to share in that deeply special and sacred sacrament of Holy Communion, to meet as one at the Lord’s table. To share in the same bread in remembrance of Christ’s body broken for us and to share in the same cup of wine in remembrance of Christ’s blood given for us upon the cross. We do this as a community, as one family, as the body of Christ of which there are many parts and we do it often in remembrance of Jesus’ life given for ours. And we know in this special sacrament we share with our many brothers and sisters in Christ as part of His universal church across the world.
Over the next few weeks many of you will be returning to gather physically in the church building and we very much look forward to seeing so many of our beloved church family, old and new faces alike over the coming weeks. We also know that others may not feel quite ready to do that physically just yet and we understand that too. There may also be others of you who are not yet able to gather physically due to changes in health, mobility or life circumstances, after a long 18 months away.
As well as a place of unity, love, hope, joy, service and support as Christ’s church, we want to reassure all our new and old church family that we will always have your safety as our priority, particularly in this transitional time over the weeks and months ahead.
As social distancing measures begin to ease, may I also encourage you not to become spiritually distant, but instead draw ever nearer to Jesus Christ and to His Church.
Grace and peace - Justin
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