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Communion Meditations (2013)

Franklin's Hat

Originally scheduled for February 17

Ben Franklin was a man of both ingenuity and wit. Like all of us, he had to deal with growing old. He remarked* that of the young man forgets his hat at the bar, no one thinks very much of it. But if an old man forgets his hat at the bar, everyone says he’s losing his memory. Either way, most of us need some help with our memories.

In our common folklore there are two major ways of remembering something. One is to use an elephant, because elephants never forget. This is not particularly practical in our day and age, as most elephants don’t know enough to fasten their seatbelts, even assuming we could get them into the car. The more common method is to tie a string around your finger. But let me ask you: have you ever actually done that? Most of us, in fact, use some form of list or calendar to remind us of things we need to do. It may be paper or electronic, but we rely on something where we can write it down and we know we won’t forget it.

Those who are students of history know that the word “remember” makes a very good opening for a rallying cry. For example:

·         Remember the Alamo!

·         Remember the Maine!

·         Remember Pearl Harbor!

·         Remember 9-11!

All these things are negative memories, with the hope of positive results.

Our Lord gave us something to remember as well, and it too is a negative memory with a positive result. He asks us to remember these things:

·         What he did. He asks us to remember that he went to the cross and died a horrible, suffering death — by his own choice.

·         Who he did it for. He asks us to remember that he did it for us, not for himself, so that whosoever will come to him shall be saved.

·         Why he did it. He asks us to remember that he did it because of his great love for us, not for our own merit.

As you partake of communion today, remember the sacrifice he made out of love for you. Examine yourself; take stock and repent. Then, as you partake, remember the body and blood of your Lord and Savior.

* - My daughter informs me that it was Samuel Johnson, not Franklin. 

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