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Monday, April 14, 2014

"Keep Doing This In......Oh, Whatever"

Growing up as a Jehovah's Witness, I didn't get to celebrate a single thing.  No Christmas.  Trick or treating wasn't allowed.  No birthdays.  Hell, I wasn't even able to buy my mom a Mother's Day card.  My childhood sucked.  I tried to explain to everyone that, "You don't need to have a holiday to get toys or presents.  We get presents all the time."  That was bullshit, and everyone else that grew up JW would agree with me.

The one "holiday" that we did celebrate as Witnesses was "The Memorial of Christ's Death" or, as we called it, "The Memorial".  Imagine the strange looks you get telling that to your classmates when you're in the first grade.  The Memorial is sort of a reenactment of the Last Supper.  It coincides, supposedly, with the date on the Jewish calendar of Nisan 14. That's the day way back in the year 33 A.D., that Jesus and all of his drinking buddies hung out one last time.

Dramatic reenactment
The bible quotes him as saying, "Keep doing this in remembrance of me".  So, once a year, and only once a year, all of the Witnesses in the world come out from under their rocks and meet.  It was the one event during my childhood where I was guaranteed to get new dress clothes and have dinner out.  There are only 7.7 million JWs in the world.  In 2013, they had 19.2 million people show up for this thing.  They sing a couple of songs, read some passages from the Gospels detailing what happened that night, then they pass the bread and the wine that symbolize Christ's body and blood.  Unlike Catholics, they don't eat it.  They just pass the plate around.  You only partake if you believe that you're one of the 144,000 "chosen ones", or super special unicorn Jehovah's Witnesses that are going to heaven.

He totally drank the wine...

I tried to explain all of this to my wife once.  The Nisan 14 thing, how it's related to the Israelites in Egypt, the 10 plagues, the bread and the wine, how it has to happen after sundown, 144,000, etc.  She just looked at me like this:


I'll be honest...I never understood the "logic" either.  Never wanted to.  At least the Witnesses believed that the bread and the wine were symbolic.  Based upon the Catholic way of thinking, you were taking part in cannibalism during each communion.  

Do you think Jesus would have ever guessed that, 2,000 years later, millions of people would be reenacting his last night in the champagne room?  I don't think so.