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Sackcloth of Remembered

Last week we remembered that God is the God of 'perpetual yes'; however, we live during a time where the abrasiveness of perverted 'yeses' are constantly threatening what we know to be the Truth with what Dr. Scott references in her poem below, "the sackcloth of remembered sin".

This tension is a major theme in The Brothers Karamazov as well, and is often played out in what the characters remember and forget. The first memory Alyosha has is of his shrieking mother kneeling before an icon of Mary with rays of sun bleeding through the window. His mother reaches out her arms holding the infant body to the Mother of God, then desperately returning him to her own breast, clutching her baby to the point of inflicting pain upon him. This remembrance sets the pitch; a child caught between two mothers, two chords, two beckonings, neither of which are fully made manifest in striving Alyosha.

Yet this week, we remember that God is the God of transformation -- even the transformation of memories with Latayne Scott’s next poem and reflection from Passion, Power, Proxy, Release. As we live in remembrance, may we set it to the melody of forgiveness.

- Meghan Ochoa


So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.

- 1 Corinthians 11:27-28

We rub our souls raw

With the sackcloth of remembered sin

And toss the ashes of burned

Memories into the air

Where they mat in our hair

And crust our eyelids

(How lovely that fountain

Where the sparkling water

Washes away

Even the remembrance of things past

Transforming them into

Things forgiven)

In spite of all the "feel good" philosophies that recent church growth experts have said are necessary for people to benefit from worship, the basic "needs" of a congregation remain unchanged. Worship has two functions: to glorify God, and to allow men, women and children to participate in that glorification. Participation means that a distinction must be made between the holy and the common, the heavenly and the earthly. Part of that involves our recognition that we are not the holy and the heavenly. A proper deference to a superior Being is not belittling but rather an acknowledgement that our sin both separates us from Him and provides the impetus for Him to reach toward us.


Dr. Latayne C. Scott is an enthusiastic proponent of Christian Classical Education and taught various subjects in the School of Logic of a classical academy. The award-winning author of over 30 published books and thousands of shorter published works such as poems, she continues to write, publish, and serve as a spirituality coach and a writing coach.

- Photo credit to Melissa Lancaster for Dr. Scott's bio headshot


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