Sunday, September 03, 2006

Memory Eternal

That seemingly omnipresent bloggerchick, Stacy, has written a couple of pieces--here and here--that were prompted not so much by her experiences in Africa as of late, but more by the concept of remembrance. Excellent posts, as they not only treat the people of Africa as just that--as people, instead of mere emaciated heads and ribs and swollen bellies that get depicted and thrown away in world hunger leaflets...(ahem)--but they touch on a primal need of people: the need to be remembered.

We Orthodox make a lot of that verse ("that verse" being Hebrews 2:15) that says that Christ came to "deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." We see this in the icon of Pascha that Stacy references in her second post. But why do we fear death? Is it the process of death? Is it what lies beyond death? I honestly don't think most people make it that far out most of the time, myself included. I think a lot of us fear death because that's the Great Forgetting, in a lot of our minds. We think that men will forget us once we're gone, we think that God will allow for our memory to pass into oblivion, and this terrifies us, since we also lose track of the fact (or forget, ironically) that the whole world will pass away. Since, though, Christ has not forgotten us nor left us in the tombs, we are free to remember and be remembered in the restoration of the communion (or the re-membering of one another, if you'll forgive the pun) that defines us as human.

Speaking of communion defining what it means to be human, this post on touch within the Church by Owen is well worth the time I've spent up this morning. I may be unable to sleep, but when one has good readin', it makes it better.

Anticipating Christ's Communion, and our remembering each other -- and re-membering with each other -- in and through His presence, in a few hours...

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