We all know that Remembrance Sunday falls within the month of November. Everywhere you look people are sporting poppies: celebrities wearing sparkly ones on Strictly, newsreaders’ poppies are more sedate, members of the Royal British Legion traditional, primary schoolchildren funky ones.
There are other important dates within the month. All Souls day falls on the second and we invite the bereaved to light a candle as their loved one’s name is read out. There is tea and cake and tears.
Our democratic rights are remembered as we set fire to the “Guy” who took the blame for the failed bomb attempt on the houses of parliament: ‘Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder treason and plot!’
In our family there are other days not to be forgotten. My eldest nephew turns 18 this year, and the child we lost to miscarriage would have turned 13. The first year we reached his due date we made a conscientious decision to do something positive, and over the years that have followed we have made it a special day to celebrate our family.
What ties all these remembrances together is eternity. In the eternity of God’s kingdom we will have the opportunity to meet at last our much longed for son. Guy Fawkes will find justice, loved ones will find healing from their grief, and all those who have endured the ravages of war will find peace that is everlasting. And at the centre of eternity is the one who travelled through death and out the other side, creating a pathway for each of us to follow in time. As Jesus prepared for his own death, he had one instruction to his friends and followers: ‘Remember Me.’
Vanessa is an ordained priest in the Church of England, serving in a team of seven churches in rural Hampshire. She currently shares the rectory with her husband, two daughters and two cats. The menagerie is due to acquire more chickens in the spring and possibly a dog later in the year. Vanessa blogs at www.nothinglikeadane.wordpress.com and you can follow her at www.facebook.com/thewallopingvicar or @wallopingvicar