We Remember

In the fall of 2004, I preached at Avon Christian Church as part of a series on the Ten Commandments.  My sermon was on "Thou Shalt Not Kill", or rather, since we were spinning each of the commandments to the positive, "You Shall Embrace Life".  In this sermon, I shared with the congregation a very personal story of my involvement with a capital murder trial which ultimately led to my position in opposing capital punishment and my commitment to non-violent conflict resolution.  I had been afraid that I would break down and cry during the sermon, but surprising myself, I did not.  However, as I stood at the communion table later in the service and began the prayer of confession, I lost it.  The tears just started to flow and would not stop.  I somehow made it through the prayer and the words of institution, and then it was time for the elders to pray for the elements.  First one and then the other elder struggled through their prayers as they were both in tears as well.  I am not sure exactly what transpired that day, why we were all so moved at the same time.  I have long tried to put that experience at the communion table into words.  The best I have been able to come up with is this song, which pretty much wrote itself that evening.

I was honoured to perform this song at the ordination service of my dear friend and colleague, Rev. Sandhya Jha.

We Remember
Words and Music by Rachel Frey

You showed us how to love, and you told us to forgive.
You said we shall embrace life, and then you showed us how to live.
But in the violence of this world we often fail to live your peace.
So we ask for your forgiveness and we call out for release.

And we remember
Though we don't always understand
How the power that can change the world is broken in your hands.
We remember
How you took the bread and wine
And transformed an act of violence into living so sublime.
We remember.
We remember.

We meet you at this table with blood upon our hands.
So we confess the hatred and the killings in our lands.
And we lay our lives before you, crying, "Purify our hearts.
Make us vessels of your healing for both near and distant parts."


It's not enough to say, "I'd never kill my neighbor."
When there is anger in my soul.
We must intentionally touch and bless each other
For in love, we are made whole.

We remember.
We remember.

You showed us how to love, and you and you told us to forgive.
You said we shall embrace life, and then you showed us how to live.


Copyright © 2004 by Rachel Frey.  All rights reserved.

UPDATE: In June 2016, I recorded this video of me performing this song after the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, beloved, embed the video of the song or an mp3. It is so very powerful. Love you and thank you for this.