For the community that is the Church, there are contrasting ways of viewing the past.
The Church, as we rediscovers the past, and ideally re-invest our contemporary worship with its riches, can either look on the past with Dismissal, Nostalgia or Living Memory.
Dismissive Memory looks lightly at the past, but with disregard and disdain, seeing only the riches of the present and the future.
Nostalgic Memory looks heavily at the past with longing, desiring to conform the present and the future to the memory of the past.
Living Memory looks thoughtfully at the past with appreciation, drawing from it to inform and strengthen the present and the future.
We must look at the past with Living Memory, and allow it to shape, form and enhance an ever-changing present and future.
If one definition of culture is indeed defined as “corporate memory,” then we must look at both yesterday and today with a humble, yet critical eye, and bring aid to the corporate memory of tomorrow — by being radically present to the world of today.