How, Miroslav Volf in his The End of Memory asks, does a Christian remember rightly? In particular, how does a Christian remember suffered wrongs if the Christian learns to remember throught he lenses of the Exodus and the Passion? This question is profound. [Bottom: I mention two books for our next book.].
Exodus memory means this: we remember God’s act of deliverance and God’s just punishment of perpetrators of violence. Israel’s memory of the Exodus involved the Amalekites (Deut 25:17-19). Exodus memory means then two things: deliverance and extension of mercy, as well as justice.
Passion memory means this: we remember God’s act of deliverance and justice in a Person that has entered time to transform time and space in the here and now. Jesus not only identified with us (solidarity) but he substitued for us.
Question for the day: What evidence in our Christian world and personal life is there for a memory shaped by the cross? Quite a question Volf pushes over our way.
The difference is dramatic: Passion memory is universal; it honors the victim as it extends grace to the violent (Christ died for his enemies: Rom 5); and it creates a reconciled community.
Thus, the Christian remembers truthfully and rightly when the Christian remembers suffered wrongs through the lens of the Cross where we learn to extend unconditional grace, stand for the claims of justice, pursue forgiveness, and do so in the context of a community that awaits the final reconciliation with God.
Remembering rightly, Volf adds, is work.
I’m considering, for our next Friday is for Friends book, Darrin McMahon, Happiness: A History (8 chps), or Darryl Tippens, Pilgrim Heart (17 chps). Any thoughts?