I saw the cartoon from The Simpsons on someone’s Facebook page. It showed Homer Simpson reading the local paper. The headline on the front page read, “Today we remember Martin Luther King, Jr.” Beneath it, in a smaller font were the words, “Tomorrow we forget him.”
The cartoon caught the challenge we often face in marking off special times for celebrations and commemorations. We may hear again and again portions of the “I Have a Dream” speech on Martin Luther King’s birthday. How often do we reflect on its meaning or engage in the work of fulfilling it the rest of the year?
The same can be true of our celebrations as a church. We know that the Incarnation of Jesus Christ was not confined to a manger in Bethlehem. But as we pack away the creche figures, do we pack away the meaning of God’s coming to us as well? Easter is not one Sunday in the spring. Indeed, every Sunday liturgy is meant to be a celebration of the resurrection, and all of its implications for us.
Though we may have packed away the baby Jesus, our weekly scripture readings call us to remember, rather than forget. As we did last week, this week we will listen to an account of the adult Jesus coming amongst us and saying,”Follow me.” And so we will follow. And if we do so with eyes, ears, hearts, and minds open, then we will do more than remember. We will discover how Jesus is calling us in this present day, and in every day to come.