As Holy Week continues, and we really enter into the thick of it all, there is a memory from my childhood that keeps rising. I am about 7, singing in the children’s choir at St. Marks. We’re singing at a service with all sorts of ordained people, a vast array of interesting hats and one exceptionally vivid rainbow stole. I’m actually not sure what the occasion was, but I’ve always remembered it as being a Maundy Thursday service. The part of this service that sticks out to me the most is the singing. Everyone—my fellow choristers, the nicely dressed clergy, the whole congregation—was singing Jesus Remember Me, one of the more well-known chants from the Taizé community. In that moment I can remember feeling very small. While I might have been too young to find words for it, I knew that something profound was happening that night. It was something massive, and I could not quite tell whether or not I was a part of it. I wanted to be, but I did not have the ability to completely enter into the magic surrounding me. Surrounded by so many wise men and women endlessly singing the cries of a thief, I was a child shyly approaching Jesus. In asking him to remember me, I tugged gently at his robe. Our eyes met briefly, and he smiled at me, reassuring me that I would not and could not be forgotten. Suddenly I did not feel so terrified at my smallness.
This is a memory that has stuck with me for years. Every time I sing, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,” I feel like a child again, looking up hopefully to this extraordinary man in a room filled with so many strangers. In the midst of the chaos and cacophony life is often filled with, particularly in the suffering we remember this week, that reassuring smile is most comforting. We may not always be the most dazzling star in the sky, but we will never be forgotten.