"Harder to breathe", a smashing song by a new but obscure rock band called 'Maroon 5' was the first song on my band’s setlist. It was 2004 and Christ College’s Rock competition at Darpan, the intra-college cultural fest. We belted it out like there’s no tomorrow and the sea of the quadrangle crowd cheered us with a thundering applause. The rock band of mostly first years and a third year rock-guitarist named Rakesh Varma came second. I got Best Vocalist. The song was a rocker but terribly sexist so I never sang it again after my first year. Who imagined that a decade and a half later, Maroon 5 would turn to pop and put out songs like 'Girls Like You' and 'Memories’, leaving ( betraying?) their rock roots.
Their 'Memories' became a staple for the pubs, discos and private parties. "The drinks bring back all the memories, the memories bring back, memories bring back you," sang Levine. People whose memories brought back break-ups and old flames who married richer or smarter or balder guys - they all echoed the song. The booze brought back the memories. The memories and the booze together are a dangerous combination - just ask those wives and children who welcome their sloshed dads and innocently suffer the consequences.
Memories are powerful. They are hard to let go. They form us. They can make us and break us. Some memories sustain us. Some disable us.
Hours before his painful suffering and death, Jesus Christ is reported to have eaten a Passover meal. At that meal he broke and shared the bread and wine as was the practice during Passover. He said, "Do this in memory of me." He claimed that it was his body and his blood. The disciples didn't really catch the point. But on the day of crucifixion, it must have struck them. Here was the God who took human body on the cross, and shared it with the world as a symbol of love, of a self-emptying love, love that sacrificed even 'heaven'.
So the disciple's began bringing back that memory. Not of break-ups or a dead relationship, but of a living, life-giving relationship that urges to love more, forgive more, and to give up on abusive, harmful relationships with anyone or anything that is an obstacle to revealing the beauty and glory of God in you.
And he said that over a meal. Leonard Sweet, who spoke at Maramon convention in 2016 said that the Old Testament and New Testament could be summarised in three sentences each. The first is : They came to kill us. God saved us. Lets eat! ( Bringing back memories of the passover meal)
The newer testament : I love you. I forgive you. Let's eat.
Jesus Christ was big on transforming people's lives through meal times together.
And today, we remember these two memories : Of Passover and the one who became the Passover lamb for the whole world, that they may have life in abundance.
It's all about love. Purely about love.
And we'll do it in remembrance of that love.
Maundy Wednesday/ Thursday.
Picture Credits : James Coleman, Unsplash.com