The gift of memory is one of the things that make human beings so special. We can store and then (we hope) retrieve experiences from all parts of our lives. We can remember words, feelings, places and smells from long ago. It is an amazing gift and one that God has given us because God remembers and we’re made like God.
What’s your memory like? Some of us would like to upgrade our memories as we get older in the same way you upgrade a computer’s memory, because we forget things frequently. We have devised all sorts of ways to remember ourselves of dates, birthdays and anniversaries. We need reminders on our phones or Post-it notes or knotted handkerchiefs or whatever. Memory is very useful to us… when it works.even those living with dementia who may not remember their families names may be able to recall the words of the Lords Prayer or a favourite hymn or song.
The poppy, a simple, beautiful little flower, helps us to remember. We remember the cost of war, the red and black colours of the poppy symbolize the blood spilt and the grieving of loved ones. We will never forget the sacrifices made and therefore be determined to avoid whenever possible the dreadful cost of war. Last Remembrance Sunday we remembered that our war memorial in Wales Square was 100 years old. It is inscribed with names, names which we’ve just heard read, from long ago and not so long ago who died for the cause freedom and peace.
Sunday 13th November is the Remembrance Parade and Service in our Parish. The parade will leave St John’s Rooms at 10:20am. It will be led by the uniformed organisations and Parish Council. Everyone is invited to follow the parade up to Wales Parish Church where the Remembrance service will start at 10:45am. The 2 minutes silence will be observed at 11am during the service and the roll of honour will be read.
The Scout Band will lead the congregation down to the cenotaph at 11.45am where the Last Post will be played and the wreaths laid.
This year we can also think of God’s remembrance of us. There is a God who remembers your name, remembers your sorrows and joys, remembers how hard you have tried to share his love and peace. With the gift of memory comes the reality that sometimes we forget as well. Maybe that’s a gift too. And that’s like God! God does remember but he also chooses to forget. God chooses not to remember our sinfulness, the mess we make of our lives and our world. God longs for us to learn from our past mistakes.
The word ‘re-member’ actually means to put back together again. Like a jigsaw God can re-member us, put us back together. God through his love enables you be fully human, restoring our wholeness in him thanks to the death and resurrection of his son Jesus Christ.