November often seems like the season of remembering. The theme of remembering seems particularly appropriate this year, as we have recently held a special service to remember those who passed away with coronavirus during the pandemic, as well as remembering all those who are still struggling with its effects, either in physical, mental or spiritual health, or perhaps in practical or other ways. On 7th of November we will also be having a special time to remember all those who have passed away in the past year, or anyone who's memory you wish to remember. Do come along between 4-5pm and light a candle for your dear departed loved one then. The 14th of November of course marks Remembrance Sunday, when we remember those who served in the nation's defence and those who lost their lives in wars.
All of this makes for a difficult and sombre time. It is sometimes only through the dark times though, that we can fully recognise and appreciate the light. At this time of year, we also start to see physical representations of light shining through the darkness. As the nights are now dark, people begin to decorate their houses and businesses, inside and out, with bright fairy lights. These always remind me of the light, hope and love of God, shining in even the darkest of times and places -the light always there, even as we remember, or live through, difficult, dark times. So in the midst of the darkness, is the light, the dawn of a new day always coming from the black night, coming with new life and hope for all. This is the image I cling to in the dark times, and the times we remember difficult events of the past or live in difficult times in the present.
In November then, we seem to have the themes of remembering and of light coming together, focusing our thoughts on remembering others with love and on the light shining through the darkness. It is not a totally solemn time then, but is a time to remember others, as well as to take stock of the past and our current lives, and to re-focus on light, love, peace, joy and all wonderful things as well.
With best wishes and prayers,