Clergy Blogs

Periodic contributions from Revd. Giles King-Smith, Vicar of the three coastal parishes. We also continue to show contributions from the late Associate Minister Revd. Linda Walters

Remembering

November is a month for remembering.

All around us people are wearing poppies, a symbol that we remember the lives of those lost in war.

It isn’t easy to remember, when remembering brings back the pain of our loss. It isn’t easy to remember when the relationship we shared had its difficulties or when we feel that there were things we wanted to do or say but didn’t get the chance. Sometimes remembering is the last thing that we want to do or are able to do…

The Christian faith has a strong tradition of remembering. As Jesus approached his own death we’re told that he shared a simple meal with his friends. He urged them to remember him every time they break bread or drink together. He knew that he was going to die but he wanted his friends to know that he would never leave them.

Jesus invited his friends to remember him every time they ate bread or drank wine – an act of remembrance associated with life and all that lies ahead, not simply what lies behind us.

Sometimes the act of remembering will trip us up as we seem to forget what has happened, at other times the act of remembering is our greatest comfort and strength.
We don’t just remember our loved one as a saint but we start to remember the way they got on our nerves or the things that drove us mad – or at least the potential for that to happen.As we begin to remember the things that made us laugh and the things that made us cross, the things that made us proud and the ways they could embarrass us, it’s as though the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle are coming back together again…

When we lose someone dear to us, it’s as though a jigsaw puzzle has been thrown up into the air and all the pieces have been scattered far and wide. As we remember, the pieces start to come together – only the picture isn’t quite the same. We have to look closely at what is emerging, but there, in the new picture, is the possibility that we can still love the one we have lost and that the life we did share with them has made a difference to the people we are now.

It is a paradox and for some of us it may take many years to reach beyond the “aching sense of loss” but every time we remember we gather some of the fragments together and the new picture starts to get clearer…

Paul’s letter to those in Rome who were trying to follow in Christ’s way is a remarkable message of the power of love in difficult times. He asks what power there is that can separate us from love and answers it by saying nothing…

I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It takes courage to remember. Take courage from Paul’s words that absolutely nothing, not even our grief, can separate up from the love that we have shared with those we have lost – love is stronger than death and love is of God.

Memories don’t just connect us with the past, you see, memories are also what connect us with the future, with hope and new life. As we remember, as the fragments start to come together and we see new possibilities emerging, may we become ever more aware of the bond of love that cannot be broken and, in time, may we become familiar with that place where we can “keep company unseen” even, perhaps, sharing again the intimate glance of a love that cannot be overcome…

A Different Advent Calendar.
Recharging the Batteries
 

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Sunday, 22 October 2017

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