By Marcia Plumb of San Jose, California, USA
Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Memory—what a mixed blessing. I continue to have dreams of my mom who passed away 16 years ago. I find it comforting to spend a night with her, usually in our old home place, usually making cookies. The blessing for me is that seldom are there thoughts of the negativity we used to have—just a time of being. I am aware of conflicts and sadness that creep into my night thoughts at times, but not as frequently as the happy ones.
My daytime memory is not as good as it once was. I often forget things from the past (even what I had for dinner last night) unless someone brings them back to my memory. This makes me frustrated and irritable at times, but I am so grateful for friends and family who help me remember. This is also a reason for sharing our stories or testimonies in church or family gatherings, so we can bring good times back into our memories.
I am not naive enough to believe all memories are good. Some can be very painful: loss of a loved one or a relationship, scary encounters, painful struggles. Perhaps the challenge is to deal with them for what they are, trying to extract the strength developed because of the events. I am not a psychologist, but I do believe in Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians, “Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, admirable... or praiseworthy... think about such things.” I believe this can help bring peace to our minds as we recall memories on which to build our lives and bring encouragement to others.
This Sunday we will be celebrating the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, often called Communion—a memory experience with each other and with Christ. Luke 22:19 says, “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’” What a blessing Jesus left us in the symbols of bread and wine to remind us of what he did and what he was about. What a blessing to open the Scriptures and read about the stories of others who experienced the love of God.
Wherever I am, God is here.
Breathe deeply and prayerfully consider the story you have just read. What is the Spirit’s invitation to you in these words? What does it look like to wake up to God’s presence in this moment?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.