"What's your favourite memory of Jesus?" This was a question that was posed to me a few months ago. We were driving back from a day trip up north and my friend broke the silence of our road trip with this question.
What is my favourite memory of Jesus? This became a difficult question to answer. At first I couldn't fully comprehend the question. I mean, it was totally loaded with extra meaning and implications. My favourite memory? Wouldn't it be more accurate to ask what my favourite story was? Doesn't memory imply so much more than what the Biblical accounts offer us?
It wasn't until two weeks later that I understood. Memories of Jesus are what sets us apart from so many other faiths. This is because our Jesus, our King, our Diety; he lives! So in a true sense our memories of him have two parts.
We are his home
When Jesus was teaching about the profound reality of the kingdom, he said this to his disciples "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come and make our home with him".
All those baptised into the love of God and renewed by his Spirit have become the home of Jesus. His life in us, even more so, his being in us is consistently creating opportunity for us to engage with him. In fact, just like an earthly home, Jesus is engaging with us everyday through his indwelling.
And this makes space for us to make memories with him everyday. Everyday we have the chance to make a memory with the divine, personal love of the universe.
His memories dwell in us
And because he lives in us, his memories dwell in us to. This is how the Bible can have so much power. The Bible by itself is a book of stories. It can hold the power of stories. It can move people to act and stir up real emotions in people, but when the divine King Jesus has made his home in us, the Bible becomes shared memories.
This is why these pages of holy writings can give life to the believer. Each story of our King Jesus or about our King Jesus becomes a memory that we have with Jesus because he has made his home with us.
My favourite memory
Its hot and dusty. Jesus has been walking for days teaching the crowds about a new kingdom. Straining his parched voice, he is pleading with people to receive sight, to be baptized in fire, to turn and receive new life.
Jesus then turns to blind beggars, his heart full of the pain the live in, and returns sight to their eyes with just a few words.
He walks to the edge of town and cleanses ten lepers of a horrible skin disease that had caused them to lose their humanity in the eyes of humanity. And after all of this, only a handful turn to receive his life. Only a few hearts open to his truth; so Jesus climbs to a hill where he can see all of Jerusalem. And he weeps. He weeps not because he is rejected, but because those so needy of grace continue to push away the only place they can find true life.
He laments that they have killed prophets sent to them, they have scorned teachers striving to bring them the words of life and the have continuously rejected the free grace of God.
So Jesus weeps. Instead of feeling closed off, bitter, and allowing the pain of rejected grace cause him to bring down judgement; (all of which happens in our hearts when our grace is rejected) the man who has never once experienced the reality of needing grace from others says these words, " how often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not" (Matthew chapter 23 verse 37).
Jesus calls this out to you today. Whether he lives in you or not, he calls this to you. Come to him, receive grace despite the destruction you have caused and begin making more memories with the lover of your soul.
Dan Peterson lives near Chicago, Illinois, USA where he works in refugee resettlement with World Relief. He enjoys discovering old books, new places, and good coffees. His dream is to summit a mountain on every continent and have a pet pygmy marmoset.
Dan Peterson's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/dan-peterson.html