Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Remembering Jesus

I wanted to create a picture book about the sacrament. That’s how it started.

I wanted to teach children about Jesus and the sacred thread that ties the sacrament to him. Children seem to bond easily and early with Jesus Christ, instinctively sensing his love, but do they understand the sacrament?

Sharing my feelings about Jesus was complicated, because His gifts to us are many and beautifully varied. The atonement is like a jewel with many facets or a mountain with many faces. I once called it as a mansion with many rooms.

I have tender feelings for Jesus because of His love and His mercy. I have powerful feelings for Jesus because of His majesty and glory. I have gratitude for Jesus because of His example, His grace, and His beautiful plan. I have hope because of Jesus and I want to be like him.

We are washed in the blood of Jesus when we are baptized and choose to follow him. Everyday choices bring us closer to him or farther from him. Agency is a wondrous gift with bittersweet consequences.

The sacrament is part of the glue that binds us to Jesus. If we choose, we can draw closer to Him each week as we thoughtfully partake of the Sacrament. We can renew sacred covenants, taking His Name upon us. We can promise to keep his commandments, and we can choose to remember him.

Taking the Sacrament is a sacred ordinance. It is a powerful reminder of our covenants and our dependence on our Savior. As we grow in obedience we can draw strength from this ordinance. Perfection is a process. The sacrament doesn’t make us perfect, but partaking worthily and honestly does help make us clean.

I love the sacrament. I love how it makes me feel. I love feeling close to my Savior. When I take the sacrament I feel his love for me, and I know that it is real.

These are some of the thoughts that teased my mind as I wrote about my love for Jesus Christ in the following poem. Maybe it’s not for children after all.

How Much Does He Love Me?

How much does He love me,
Jesus, my truest friend?
He loves me more than words can tell
or mind can comprehend.
For on this earth He walked the path
That showed me what to do.
I want to serve Him all my days.
I promise to be true.

How much does He love me,
Jesus, my powerful friend?
For He commands the thunder
and He commands the wind.
His love is warmer than the sun,
More mighty than the sea.
His voice is gentle as the snow.
His words, “Come follow me.”

Oh how I want to follow.
I promise not to stray.
He has the power to bring me home,
if I can just obey.
And though the days are sometimes hard,
the nights are sometimes long,
And on my own I’m sometimes weak,
Together, we are strong.

How much does He love me,
Jesus, my gentle friend?
He is the one who died for me
that I might live again.
He is the one who bled for me
in Gethsemane’s sacred garden.
He is the one who pleads for me
that God will grant me pardon.

He conquered death. He conquered sin.
It is my favorite story.
He is the shepherd of my soul.
He is the King of Glory.
I do not know how great the cost,
What pain He had to suffer.
He died for you; He died for me;
Our Savior and our brother.

How can I show my love for Him,
My Savior and my King?
What do I have to give to him?
What offering can I bring?
The gifts He gave are mighty.
The gifts I bring are small.
He wants me to remember Him
And share His love with all.

And when I take the Sacrament
I do remember Him.
I think of how He chose to live
completely without sin.
I think about the BREAD OF LIFE
while I eat the bread,
And of the multitudes He taught,
and of the ones He fed.

I hunger for His warm embrace
and for His healing touch.
I promise to be like Him.
I want His love so much.
I thirst for His forgiveness
when I falter and I sin;
And when the cup reaches my lips,
He bids me, “try again.”

and I promise to obey,
To stand for truth and righteousness
at home, at work, at play.
I think of His commandments.
I will try to do my part.
I’ll give to Him my love, my hands,
and most of all, my heart.

Linda Garner

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