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Do we need an antidote to the desires that arise from our flesh?  We sure do.  Is wearing a tassel going to do it?  Well, not by itself.  The real antidote is to remember, by whatever means.
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Maybe there are people who don’t need memory aids.  I’m definitely not one of them.  Apparently our Creator figures that most of us, maybe all of us, do need tangible things to help us remember—because He has supplied a number of them.

Here’s one I recently was reminded of:

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel.
You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.
Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God.
I am the Lord your God.’ ”  (Numbers 15:37-41)

To this day, observant Jews have tassels, with blue threads, on their garments.  Something to look at and remember.  Specifically, to remember God’s commands—and to obey them.  As an antidote to the lusts of the hearts and eyes.  Because, God is God.

Remember, by whatever means.

Do we need an antidote to the desires that arise from our flesh?  We sure do.  Is wearing a tassel going to do it?  Well, not by itself.  The real antidote is to remember, by whatever means.

God provided some other reminders.  Jesus calls out Deuteronomy 6:4-5 as the greatest commandment.  In this passage Moses goes on to embellish the command to love the Lord God.  He says we need to diligently teach God’s commands to our children.  To talk about them with one another.  To tie them on our hands and foreheads—something else observant Jews still literally do.  To write them on doorposts and gates (which gives rise to the mezuzot many Jews have on their doorframes.)

All these things, and more, were given to be reminders.  To counteract the pull of the flesh.  To remind ourselves that God is God.

The physical item—a tassel or phylactery or mezuzah—isn’t the point.  The object can do nothing.  The point is to remind.  Re-mind, put it back in our mind.  Re-memory it.

As you’ve already figured out, where we’re going here is Jesus’s command, “Do this, to remember me.”  He gives us two small, tangible things.  Please stop here and read again 1 Corinthians 10:15-22 and 11:23-34.  The Lord commanded Paul to pass this on to us, so we’d remember.

Jesus gives a bite of bread, so we will remember his body.  Not only that he gave it at the end of his life, but all his life he gave his body in service to his Father, never chasing after the lusts of heart and eyes.  And because we share a bite of the same loaf with one another, we are bound together in one body—and we remember that body too.  We participate in his body.

And he gives a sip of wine, so we will remember his blood.  Not only poured out, but ratifying the everlasting covenant—bringing together all of God’s plan from the Garden of Eden through the promises to Abraham to all that the prophets reveal.  And so we remember to look forward to sharing it with the Lord in the Kingdom of the Father.  Having taken on the covenant ourselves in baptism, we participate in  his blood.

So much, in such simple things.  As long as we’re mindful.  Re-mindful.

Remember:  God is God.  We need to obey His commands rather than chase our desires.  Remember:  God is love.  The number one thing is to love Him with all our being.  Remember:  Jesus is Lord.  We need to obey him as well.  Remember we are his and we are one.  Remember he brings us into the everlasting covenant.  Remember, until he comes to eat and drink with us in the Kingdom.

Love, Paul


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