‘REMEMBER FROM WHERE WE CAME’
REMEMBER – ZAKAR – REMEMBER – ANAMNESIS – REMEMBER
My beloved, we are People of the Story – God’s meta-narrative of Redemption, the meta-narrative or larger story within which there are numerous pericopes or minor narratives serve to illuminate or spotlight the validity, authenticity, and effectiveness of the meta-narrative. Anamnesis is the Greek and Zakar is the Hebrew – ‘do this in remembrance of me’ is the English translation. The people of God live their faith through the lens of FAITH in God. The Old Testament is replete with the call of the prophets to the chosen people of Israel to ZAKAR – remember what YAHWEH – God had done for them through God’s promise made to their ancestors/patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Exodus experience, God’s commands given to order life in the post exilic experience in the wilderness and possession, occupancy, and settlement in the promised land. ZAKAR is a fundamental quality in the life of God’s people. When you read the prophets and psalmist you recognize the cry and passionate plea to the principle of ZAKAR as a strong case for return to the place of holistic living in the spirit of gratitude to God.
As such, as modeled by our Savior, the church does not ‘enflesh’ any notion of ‘surrender’ or ‘defeatism’. We are the resurrected people of hope in the presence of utter despair and that, my beloved, is one of the irreconcilable scandals of our faith – death is only an entrance into new life and new beginnings. The Book of Revelation chapter 21 verse 5 reminds us, “See, I am making all things new” and in the prophet Isaiah chapter 65 verse 17 God says, “For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.”
The Passion of Jesus, that found its pinnacle at the Cross of Calvary and met its conqueror in the Garden of Gethsemane, both ends and begins anew with an empty tomb underlined by the command to Mary Magdalene and the women – “…go tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28: 10) The rest is now our faith history.
The New Testament people of God are likewise cautioned and summoned by biblical admonitions to ZAKAR or ANAMNESIS. The character of God isn’t defined by hopelessness or despair, but the abundance of promise for a more resplendent future grounded in God’s covenantal promise in Jesus. He will renew the hope and redefined the future of his Church. The Diocese of Easton is witnessing tangible signs of this promise as the Spirit continues to rewrite the narrative of this church. As we continue on this holy pilgrimage, we do so in humility and grace, guided by the principle of ZAKAR.
(Look out for Part II in the next edition.)