Frosty days, lengthening nights and golden hues… autumn is well and trulyunderway and thoughts are turning to Remembrance, Bonfire Night and Christmas.As I write there are nine, yes NINE!!! weeks or so until Christmas…. A thought which is wondrous and scary all at the same time.The year, so full of promise a few minutes ago is rapidly hurtling towards its end and the weather seems to be changing just as quickly.
The season of Remembrance is one which is weighty, rightly so, full of poignancy and memory.For those who will gather to worship on Sunday 12th November it is an opportunity to bring to mind and say thank you for the ultimate sacrifice paid in the name of freedom by those involved in the First and Second World Wars and numerous conflicts since.It is right to remember, to look back… and yet we are also called to look forward.
The Christian hope is one of eternal life.The hope and promise that, through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have been brought back into full relationship with our loving creator God.The God whose love called each of us into being, the God who loves each of us more than we can ever hope for or imagine, the God who yearns for us to flourish and be the best and brightest version ofourselves.
Losing a loved one can be a source of unimaginable pain, it can leave us disoriented, in shock, empty, lost or, feeling guilty at the relief we feel that the suffering is now over or a difficult relationship has ended.However we feel, God promises to be with us in all things.Psalm 23 says, ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, he makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters….Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.’
As we approach a season of remembrance, as we look back, let’s remember to give thanks for all that has been good, to offer to God all that has been difficult and ask for the grace to be gentle on ourselves when we need to be.And as we lookforward may we always know that there is nothing we face that hasn’t already been dealt with, nothing we are given that we can’t do, knowing we are loved andprecious in God’s sight.