At this time of year, there is a lot of remembering going on. As the sky lights up with fireworks and bonfires, people all over the country will be recounting the rhyme: “Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot”. (Although I have to confess, I could only remember the first little bit of the rhyme and had to look up the rest!)
Then a few days later many of us will be sporting red poppies, standing in silence for 2 minutes and saying those familiar words “we will remember them”. Remembrance Sunday this year is on 10th November, and for many is a hugely important day. Our Burpham War Memorial is in St Luke’s Churchyard – why not come and mark this special Sunday with us at 10.45am?
But what does it mean to remember? If you look it up in the dictionary, to remember can be a simple act of recall – or it can be used in a whole host of additional ways. Interestingly when the Bible talks about God remembering things, it doesn’t mean he just recalls them or brings them to mind, rather it means he recalls something in order to act on it. Remembering as far as God is concerned is an active word, it means recalling something and doing something about it. To remember is to act. How good are you at this kind of remembering?
Peace doesn’t just happen – it needs building and making. And that will only happen if we remember and act.
Now remembering bonfire night is probably just something fun for most of us. However crazy the Brexit situation becomes, I doubt any of us will be seriously tempted to blow up the House of Parliament with gunpowder!
Remembrance Sunday however is a different matter. We stand together and remember each year because we know that war is a terrible thing and we don’t want to go there again. Now again I realise that most of us do not have the kind of influence that could make that kind of decision, and yet we do each have a role to play in being peacemakers. It might be a peacemaker within your immediate family or your extended family. it might be at work or in your road. Peace doesn’t just happen – it needs building and making. And that will only happen if we remember and act. How good are you at remembering and what will you take time to remember this autumn?
Rev Joanna Levasier
Church office: 01483 825533