-- Nathaniel Hawthorne - Died May 19, 1864 Born July 4, 1804 Renowned Author. He was a descendent of prominent early New England settlers. His father, also Nathaniel, was a sea captain and descendent of John Hawthorne, one of the judges in the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692. He died when the young Nathaniel was four year old. Hawthorne grew up in seclusion with his widowed mother Elizabeth - and for the rest of her life they relied on each other for emotional solace. His most famous work was "The Scarlet Letter," published in 1850. His other novels were, "Fanshawe," "The House of the Seven Gables," "The Blithedale Romance," and "The Marble Faun." His short stories include, "Twice-Told Tales," "Mosses From An Old Manse," and "Tanglewood Tales." Hawthorne was one of the first American writers to explore the hidden motivations of his characters. Among his alleg- orical stories is "The Artist of the Beautiful" (1844) in which his protagonist creates an insect, perhaps a steam- driven butterfly.
People you do not want to hear say "OOPS!"
Your surgeon. Your dentist. Your nurse. Your hairdresser. Your mechanic. Your gardener. Your tax accountant. The computer tech person. The house painter. The pilot. The crew installing your roof, siding, sprinkler system . . .
"It is marvelous to consider the amount of information we carry about in our heads. Think for a minute about all of the numbers you have by memory: phone numbers, birthdays and ID numbers, zip codes, appointment times and so forth. Among our many numbers are some so inscribed in our minds with permanent marker that we could not forget the number anymore than we could forget the person or thing they represent. The significance moves well beyond the boldfaced digits themselves—the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, the street number of the house you grew up in, the number of times you failed before you finally passed the test.
A friend remembered recently the kind of number that is quite natural for most people to forget about, even as it is one that quietly holds for me more than I can put into words. But like the number itself, her remembering was more than a recollection of detail. It was distinctly as if she remembered me.
In the days of Mordecai and Queen Esther the people set themselves to remember the days when they received relief from their enemies, the month that had been turned "from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday" (see Esther 9). And so it was determined: "These days of Purim should never cease to be celebrated by the Jews, nor should the memory of them die out among their descendants" (Esther 9:28). The days were weighted with enough hope to press upon them the need to remember them forever. Moreover, they saw the certain possibility that they might forget.
I suppose there are moments in our lives when we realize that we are beholding the carving of a day into the great tree of history. On the night before my wedding I scribbled anxiously in my journal, "It will never be this day again, but the seventeenth of every August will never be the same either." I knew from that day forward it would be difficult (and detrimental) to forget that day on the calendar—it would carry the force of forgetting so much more.
God told the Israelites that they would remember the night of Passover before the night even happened. "This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast" (Exodus 12:14). Moses and Aaron were given instructions to tell the whole community of Israel to choose a lamb without defect, slaughtering it at twilight. Then they were to take some of the blood and put it on the doorposts of the houses. "The blood will be a sign," the LORD declared. "And when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike the firstborns of Egypt."
Celebrating the Passover was nonnegotiable, and with good reason. It was a command passed down from generation to generation: "Remember this day as a statute forever." But just as we remember more than the wedding itself on an anniversary or the act of birth on a child's birthday, the Israelites were remembering more than the events of Israel's exodus from Egypt; they were remembering God Himself—the faithful hand that moved and moves among them, the mighty acts that shout of God's timely remembering of his people.
As the disciples sat around the table celebrating their third Passover meal with Jesus, an observance they kept before they could walk, everything probably looked ceremoniously familiar. The smell of lamb filled the upper room; the unleavened bread was prepared and waiting to be broken. Remembering again the acts of God in Egypt, the blood on the doorposts, the lives spared and brought out of slavery, they looked at their teacher as he lifted the bread from the table and gave thanks to God. Then Jesus broke the bread, and gave it to them, saying something entirely new. "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
I have always wished that Luke would have described a little more of the scene that followed. Did a hush immediate fall over the room? Were the disciples once again confused at his words? Or did their years of envisioning the blood-marked doorposts cry out at the Lamb without defect before them?
They had spent their entire lives remembering the sovereignty of God in the events of the Passover and then Jesus tells them that there is yet more to see in this day on the calendar. "In this Passover lamb, in this the broken bread is the reflection of me. As you remember God in history, so remember me. For on this day God is engraving across all of time the promise of Passover: I still remember you."
From that day forward the disciples knew it would be difficult to forget that day on the calendar. May we also be wary of missing all that weights that moment with hope. For indeed, to forget what was witnessed in the upper room on that Passover in history carries the force of forgetting so much more. Jill Carattini
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The camera on board the Mars Global Surveyor has provided evidence that strong martian winds move large sand dunes on the planet's surface. The heaviest damage appears to have been done to the "Martian Acres" mobile home park.