Banana. Sunrise. Chair.

by DanWolgemuth on May 26, 2023

It was my first Medicare physical, and although I’ve gone through many routine physicals in the past, aspects of this exam were unexpected.

Dr. Seth Gursky, my Primary Care Physician, has seen me multiple times before. But this time, he poked into new territory. Specifically, memory testing. In fact, my pre-exam questions were very different. Questions about balance, and driving, and sleep… and memory.

At the start of the exam Dr. Gursky said, “I’m going to say three words and I want you to repeat them back to me.” Easy enough, I thought. He continued… “the words are, banana, sunrise, chair.” Dutifully, and confidently, I spoke them back. Then the doctor added, “I’m going to ask you to repeat these words back to me later in our exam.”

Yikes! I scrambled to refresh the words that had just crossed by lips, but nearly vacated my mind.  

At the same time, Dr. Gursky asked me to draw a clock face and show him 8:20. And yes, I had the capacity to do that. Thank goodness.

Then the exam continued. No details necessary, but time passed. Stethoscope listening, skin exploring, tongue extending, ears evaluating, questions asked and answered… then, and only then, the return question. “What were the three words I gave you at the start of our exam?”

For a split second, my mind froze, and then the three words tumbled out with nearly as much relief as when I finished the SAT exam in 1972.

banana. sunrise. chair.


Prone to forget, to dismiss, to ignore…

Jesus understood this. In fact, He instructed us to physically participate in His death, so that we would never forget how costly grace and forgiveness were.

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19, ESV)

Memorial Day.

A U.S. Holiday instituted in 1868 after the Civil War, with the express purpose of honoring those who died in defense of freedom. Soldiers. Warriors. Heroes.

Short memories demand special and significant prompting. Memorial Day. And yes, Communion, the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper.

“Do this”, Jesus said. Hardly a suggestion. And confessionally, something that many Protestants have taken far too lightly, including me.

Remember. Reflect. Honor. Commend.

On the front lines for freedom.

As always, Jesus shows us the way. Life extended. Life extinguished. Freedom secured.

Jesus knew, what Dr. Grusky was testing…

banana. sunrise. chair.

“Do this in remembrance of me.”

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