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From the Pews | New Starts and New Beginnings

I have enjoyed reading all the reflections and rememberings of people from the past year.

I love seeing people’s #topnine on Instagram, but even more their descriptions and assessments of the pictures.

Something about remembering is powerful and vulnerable all at once. The end of a year and beginning of a new year provide the perfect opportunity to take time to do this.

But for many of us, this remembering is a practice that fades even as we get used to writing a new year after the month and year. It’s not something we make time to do in our day-to-day living.

Perhaps this new year calls us to a new spiritual discipline: the act of sustained remembering.

Many faith traditions take this invitation to remember and integrate it into their worship services each week by celebrating Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper.

This becomes something that grounds what we are doing each and every week to the disciples and Jesus. This becomes a chance to remember each time the people of God gather the sacrifice of God’s own son.

Remembering is full of both pain and joy, hurt and hope, and perhaps this is why more people don’t take the time to integrate the practice into their daily lives.

Sometimes, it is just easier to forget what we have experienced, especially when those experiences have been challenging and traumatic.

The act of remembering isn’t easy. It’s a call and an invitation to healing and wholeness even as it reminds us of our brokenness.

In this new year, I hope to reflect more on the way I spend my time and the way I plan to spend my time in hopes that I can be intentional and mindful of the opportunities to grow and change.

For it’s only in growing and changing that we make our way to wholeness and healing.

Merianna Harrelson

Merianna Harrelson is pastor of Garden of Grace United Church of Christ in Columbia, South Carolina, editor-in-chief of Harrelson Press Publishing, and an EthicsDaily.com / Baptist Center for Ethics board member.