Sacred Memory Series: Remembering Faith
Katie Harmon-McLaughlin of Walnut Creek, CA, USA
So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God. -Ephesians 2:17-19
Many significant memories make up the substance of me and impact how I see the world today.
I remember the first time I planned worship in high school and had my congregation try something new. While some resisted, an older man in the congregation made an effort to affirm how meaningful the experience had been for him, helping to build the confidence of a young minister.
I remember my parents welcoming a teenage girl into our home who needed a place to live as she finished high school, embedding in me an important lesson of the worth of all persons.
I remember hard lessons in the politics of belonging as a middle-school girl, causing me to question my own worth and wrestle with an insecurity that still shows up from time to time.
I remember the people who made space for me to ask my deepest questions when I wrestled with belief in God, affirming that curiosity is also part of faith.
I remember stories of bread broken in scripture and acts of bread broken in sacrament that have formed in me a deep desire for communion and an impulse for inclusion.
The annual journey through the liturgical year is one in sacred memory that continues to shape our lives today. By remembering and reliving the stories of our ancestors, we interpret their life and meaning in fresh ways for our own time and changing contexts. As we find ourselves in this brief span of Ordinary Time between Christmas and Lent, we pause to consider how this living tradition is living in us. We are made of the stories and memories of our own experiences, our families, our faith communities, and our cultures. They shape how we see the world and interact with each other. Becoming aware of our memories can liberate us from restrictive narratives and ground us in life-giving ones.
We have invited writers to share stories of memory and meaning that continue to form who they are in the world today. We invite you to reflect on those memories that have been shaping you as you read their stories in this series.
“Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you…” (Deuteronomy 8:2).
Spend time journaling or reflecting on significant memories that have shaped your life. Allow the following questions to guide you: What memories from your life shape how you encounter and respond to the world around you today? When has sacred memory in you become a path into the future?
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.