When our memories fail, it is our community that can tell us who we are. If, like both of my grandmothers, we are lucky enough to have lived in the same town our whole adult lives, the community can remember our personal specific life histories. But even if we pick up and move across the country to be near our kids or to retire somewhere sunny and warm, the community of the church can remind us of our identity in Christ.
Scripture suggests that memory happens in community. When Israel requires something of God, the people of Israel remind God of their relationship, telling and retelling Him stories of the promises He made to Israel, the things He did for his people in past generations. As Kathleen Fischer has explained, faith communities add "an essential dimension to our remembering. In faith we not only gather our memories; we recollect our lives before God. Our stories then take on . . . meaning as a part of a larger story that redeems and embraces them."
(Image: slice of the cover of Mudhouse Sabbath)