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.”
I remember the summer of 1949.
I remember the headache, the fever—and the legs that would not work.
I remember the look on my mother’s face.
I remember the polio virus.
I remember the doctor asking my mother, “Do you want me to call an ambulance?”
She shook her head. “No. His father is coming. We will take him to the hospital.”
But my father was far away, helping to build a canning factory. How long would it take him to get to me?
A neighbor flew a war surplus two-seater Piper Cub to pick him up and land him in a nearby hayfield. I can still picture him showing up in the doorway to my bedroom.
That changed everything. I was a five-year-old who believed my father could fix anything.
He wrapped me in a blanket, lifted me onto his shoulder, and headed for the car.
What a relief! I was at peace.
That same shoulder carried me home three days later. My parents didn’t have the money to pay for a longer stay. My mom became my nurse. My red wagon, pulled by my sister, became my legs.
It reminds me of a scene Jesus once pictured: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home” (Luke 15:4-6).
When I think of the shoulders of the Good Shepherd, I again have peace. One day, they will joyfully carry me home.
I will remember the coronavirus.
Corona is the Latin word for crown. Under a microscope, that’s what this infective agent resembles.
It makes me think of another crown—one made of twisted thorns.
It makes me think of another Father—one who can truly fix everything, including the virus called sin.
It makes me think of the pain in his heart as he watched his Son writhe in agony, then breathe his last.
I remember why that happened. I remember my sin. I remember his love.
I remember the last meal before his Son died.
I remember that on the night he was betrayed he took bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Then he took the wine and gave it to them saying, “Drink from it all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:27,28).
Christians have received that body and blood in remembrance of him ever since.
They treasure it because they treasure him.
He is the same one who promised: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
I remember Jesus and look forward to that crown.
I remember: “He has not forgotten me.”
Prayer: Too often have I forgotten you, Lord.
Too often have I acted as if I did not need you.
Too often have I failed you.
Let me taste again the joy of your salvation.
Let me receive again forgiveness through
your body and blood, hidden beneath bread and wine.
Let me remember my sin and my Savior. Amen.
Written by Rev. Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Belle Plaine, Minnesota.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Note: Scripture reading footnotes are clickable only in the web version.