Earlier this year the world was shocked to learn the news of Kobe Bryant’s death. Bryant was an NBA all-star and appeared larger than life. After retiring from the sport, he was enjoying time with his family, mentoring young players, and becoming a storyteller through books and short films. At a time when it seemed like his new chapter was beginning, his life was cut short leaving behind family, friends, and fans with memories of his legacy. As fans gathered outside the Staples Center, where he played, to mourn, celebrate, and remember his life, they brought with them mementos and created art and memorials in his memory.
Play the following video [2:14]:
Giant Kobe Bryant Memorial Boards Filled with Messages from Fans
- What inspired these fans to create memorials for Kobe Bryant? (Accept all reasonable answers. These fans were inspired by Kobe’s many identities as a basketball player, a hard worker, an L.A. icon, a dad, an artist, and more. They wanted to show their respect.)
- How do memorials help us celebrate and remember a life? (Accept all reasonable answers. Memorials take up physical space. This gives people an opportunity to pause and reflect, to join together with others, and to bring mementos. This also shares the legacy of the person with all who walk past and encounter it, carrying on their story.)
- Do you have any physical reminders of those in your life who have passed? (Answers will vary. Ensure students are sensitive with one another as they share, particularly if you know of a recent or poignant loss. Often it is the everyday items we keep and cherish from our loved ones who have passed—handwritten recipes, a sweatshirt, their Bible, etc.)
Before Jesus went to the cross to give His life, He left us with a tangible way, using everyday items and a particular meal, to remember His life and purpose. This memorial meal—what we call communion—is something that Christians have come together to share and celebrate ever since in remembrance of Him.