We’ve all just turned the page on another calendar year, and the wave of opportunity and fresh starts has hit us once again. No matter how bad or how good 2016 turned out, it’s over – and we each have been blessed with a blank slate of another year to write on. I know that at least for me, the realization that it’s once again the time of the year to reevaluate my life and goals has me focused on being more intentional.
I usually pray about a word for the year, and this year is no exception, but it came about a little differently this time around. Ever since I finished Ann Voskamp’s new incredible book entitled The Broken Way, I’ve been contemplating this beautiful Greek word – anamnesis.
This word is only found four times in Scripture, and each time it is mentioned, it is in reference to the sacrifice that Christ made that is “remembered” in the Last Supper. 1
“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” -Luke 22:19
“and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’” -1 Corinthians 11:24-25
“But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins.” -Hebrews 10:3
Apparently, Plato used this word “anamnesis” to express a remembering that allowed it to be an integral part of the everyday – a sort of allowance of something from another world to penetrate this one. Similar to the way we remember a person who is no longer with us by allowing their influence on our lives to direct the way we live as an inspiration, this sort of remembering carries with it a constant, continuous effect on our current world and circumstances.
When I read about this, and the impact this world of remembrance can make, I realized that this is how I want to live my one life well this year. Because I don’t really need any new goals right now. I’m pretty much a great goal setter anyway. But I do need a much greater awareness this year of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice that should influence every word I say, every action I do, and every goal I may set this year. And, this reminder frees me, because I know that the victory in His sacrifice and Resurrection has changed everything. Christ has conquered death and is so very present with me. He walks with me through everything that I face, good or bad. This means that the way I choose to spend each day of 2017 is decided with the mindset that He is walking every single moment of every single day right there with me, helping me live because of His costly sacrifice on the cross. And that Presence affects everything.
Exercise goals? He’s there giving me the strength and willpower to push through.
Book lists to read through? He’s there illuminating my eyes to see the words on those pages as more than just words, but reminders of His love that penetrate and change my heart.
Job responsibilities and/or changes? He’s there giving me the wisdom to navigate each step and the stamina to fulfill whatever is required of me.
Healthy eating habits? He’s there providing me with the self-control to refrain from what my body thinks it needs in the moment, but really doesn’t.
People I long to serve? He’s there giving me the heart to have compassion on those He calls me to serve, to love even the seemingly unlovable. The ability to put my feelings aside and become more like Him in the way I treat others.
Bucket list dreams? He’s there giving me the mindset to dream big, no matter how small I feel that day.
You name it… He’s there. His sacrifice now assures our victory, and His amazing love, grace,strength and incredible power helps us push through obstacles and tackle hard things. And because of His presence, we know that anything we face, we don’t face alone. We just have to keep remembering Him – both His sacrifice and His presence – for He truly is the only reason we can live and move and even have our being.
So here’s to an amazing 2017! Because when we know Who has gone before us, and then walks it out with us, the best truly is yet to come.
1 Voskamp, Ann. The broken way: a daring path into the abundant life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016. Print.by