We have arrived at that time of year again when we spend some time in remembering. The month of November starts with ‘All Saints Day’ when we can think about those who have gone before us into glory – the saints of old as well as those who have been close to us in our earthly journey. It’s a time for remembering the memories we have of them and realising the part that they have paid in our lives.
We don’t get too far into the month when we arrive at Bonfire Night. This is a time for remembering the early act of rebellion when Guy Fawkes attempted to kill the king by blowing up the Houses of Parliament. Robert Catesby the instigator and planner of what has come to be known as the ‘Gunpowder Plot’ felt so disgruntled by the way that the country was going and what he saw as the persecution of the Catholic church, that his only recourse was to turn to violence to overthrow the ruling classes.
Then of course, we have the very important time of remembrance that centres around the 11th.
There will be many individual, local, national and international times of remembrance as the country thinks about those people whose lives were given in times of war. Along with the act of remembrance will be the memories that so many of us have of those members of both military and civilian organisations that sacrificed so much for the freedom of the world. War and times of fighting have plagued the world throughout all of its history with so many lives lost because of humanity’s inability to live alongside itself.
Remembrance and memories are important. They enable us to see the errors of our ways and give us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case and, as a consequence, year on year, we have to remember more and more lives lost in acts of war and terrorism.
But in these times, we can, indeed must, hold on to hope – hope for the future, hope for humankind, hope for all of us. Without hope, then where would we be? The end of the month leads us nicely into the time of Advent – a real time of hope. Advent is not just the run up to Christmas, with all the ever-increasing hype surrounding the festive season inspired by commercial pressures to buy the latest gadget, or stock the freezer with the most elaborate of foodstuffs, or to spend a small fortune on gifts for loved ones. It’s a time to remember that this was the moment we celebrate something fantastic, something that was and still is, life-changing, that instant when new hope came into the world in the form of God’s son, Jesus Christ.
So this month, the month for remembering, let’s not forget that what’s yet to start in the next few weeks is the celebration of something that was world-changing and history-making and get ready to celebrate the birth of the Saviour of the world, Jesus. In a very short time, the countdown to the remembrance of what has to be the most important event in the history of the world and its people, will begin and we must not miss it!
As the shops keep on reminding us, Christmas is just around the corner, let’s use these weeks between now and then as our time of getting ready for this big event – not just materially, but more importantly, spiritually. Let us remember the place Jesus has had in our lives up to now and get ready to welcome him in afresh ready for the future that lies before us.
Every blessing to you all,