Our acts of remembering must therefore involve both essential truths and dramatic narrative. I believe we need to hold the creeds in one hand and our favorite forms of art in the other. There are films, books, poems, songs, and paintings I return to again and again for some deep reason in my heart. Taking a closer look, I see that they all tell me about some part of the Sacred Romance. They help wake me to a deeper remembrance. As Don Hudson has said, “Art is, in the final analysis, a window on heaven.”
Now that we are on our way, Satan will do everything he can to steal the Romance. One way he does this is to leave us only propositions, or worse, “principles,” like “the management techniques of Jesus” or “the marketing methods of Jesus.” The heart cannot live on facts and principles alone; it speaks the language of story, and we must rehearse the truths of our faith in a way that captures the heart and not just the mind.
Let us return again to that central scene and see what it is the author of Hebrews wants us to see in order to follow our Hero in the race ahead. How did Jesus sustain his passionate heart in the face of brutal opposition? He never lost sight of where he was headed. He had a vision for the future that was grounded in the past. In the story of the Last Supper, we are told that Jesus knew “he had come from God and was returning to God,” and lived his life of selfless love to the end. He remembered both where he had come from and where he was going (John 13:3). And so must we.