Remember, Remember

This season seems to me full of remembering, and this year the remembering feels even more poignant than usual. At harvest we remembered that everything we have comes from God and did so at a time when the seriousness of the climate crisis is ever clearer, and our supply chains are struggling to deliver all we expect to enjoy. On Bonfire Night we remember ‘gunpowder, treason and plot’, the defeat of a terrorist attack on our Parliament and do so in the wake of the murder of Sir David Amess, an MP seeking to serve God and his community. On Remembrance Sunday we remember the dead of two World Wars and other conflicts since; we do so as the Royal British Legion celebrate their centenary and their work supporting veterans is as vital as ever. Finally, we turn our eyes towards Bethlehem to remember the birth of the Christ Child and to hear the words of hope in a world made dark by the losses and challenges of the past year.

Remembering is important and the Bible is full of encouragements to remember: to remember who God is; to remember God’s faithfulness and steadfast love for all he has made; to remember what God has done for us. It is important because when we remember, we are not only reciting history but considering how we might create a better future. King George V understood this; when he visited the war graves in Flanders in 1922, he said:

‘I have many times asked myself whether there can be more potent advocates of peace upon earth through the years to come than this massed multitude of silent witnesses to the desolation of war.’

So, remembering Harvest encourages us to work for justice for those who do not have enough to eat. Remembering the failure of the Gunpowder Plot challenges us to think about how we are governed. Remembering those who have suffered and died because of war prompts us to work for peace. Remembering the events of Christmas invites us to reflect on what it means for God to be Immanuel, God with us.

So, this season let’s remember well and let’s allow our remembering the past affect how we live now.

Remember the former things, those of long ago;
    I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me.                                                                                                                                                                                     Isaiah 46.9

with love and prayers