Anniversary of Pain

It has already begun. The media has decided that we need to be flooded with painful memories. The anniversary of Sept 11th is at hand; we are being exposed to a relentless rehearsal of as much of that horror as can be crammed into the 24 hour news cycle. Add the fact that this is an election year, and you have the ingredients for a 'perfect storm' of heartache.

In our national life, politicians have always used slogans to evoke strong memories to rally the people to action: "Remember the Maine!" "Remember Pearl Harbor!" "Remember the Alamo!"

Now I have been aware of the phenomenon psychologists have dubbed, "anniversary pain." As you near the anniversary of a tragic event, or a great loss, your mind recalls details [sometimes accurately, sometimes not so accurately] of the thing that hurt so bad. The effect of this can range from a sad nostalgia that leaves you in a sad mood for while, to full blown Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that can leave you immobilized.

I heard a pastor the other day quote the verse in which the resurrected Jesus comes upon two of His disciples walking on the road. They do not recognize that it is Jesus. Jesus asked them a question: "Where have you come from, and why are you so sad?" [my paraphrase].

In a flash of insight, the Holy Spirit showed me that there is a linkage between all the things that have shaped us [including our painful memories] and the sadness most recently attached to a major traumatic event [in this instance the crucifixion of Jesus].

What Jesus did that day to heal them, is what we are going to do today. He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and the result was that they were able to recognize Him. The Word of God helped them to see Jesus. He was in essence asking, "Remember Me?"

So this morning, we are once again going to take Communion. We are intentionally going to remember a few things.

  1. We are going to remember that Jesus is real.
  2. We are going to remember His promises.
  3. We are going to experience His comfort and healing.
  4. We are going to make a memory.

Remembering Him, Pastor Jim
September 10, 2006

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Copyright 2006 by Jim Jenkins. All rights reserved.

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