This month I am attending a birthday celebration of a very good friend of ours; Sue and I have known this person for over 20 years, this means we have lots of shared memories, including some very happy ones and some equally as sad. We were looking through some photo albums which recorded some of these events through some specific photographs at christenings, weddings, holidays and Christmas times. We had great fun looking through old photos and it certainly stirred up lots of memories as we remembered the stories that lay behind each of the photos. To be able to remember is wonderful; the brain’s ability to store, retain and recall information creates memories. As we get older memories become more important to us, remembering our childhood, remembering loved ones who have passed away and remembering those special occassions we celebrate within life. Of course not all memories are happy ones, one of the amazing dimensions of remembering is that emotions are attched to our memories, so when we remember someone or some event we encounter afreash the emotions that belong to that memory.
November is a month for remembering and as a nation we remember 2 specific things:
Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…
Words of “Remember Remember” refer to Guy Fawkes with origins in 17th century English history. On the 5th November 1605 Guy Fawkes was caught in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament with several dozen barrels of gunpowder. Guy Fawkes was subsequently tried as a traitor with his co-conspirators for plotting against the government. Fawkes was sentenced to death and the form of the execution was one of the most horrendous ever practised (hung, drawn and quartered) which reflected the serious nature of the crime of treason. The following year in 1606 it became an annual custom for the King and Parliament to commission a sermon to commemorate the event. This practice, together with the nursery rhyme, ensured that this crime would never be forgotten!
Then on Remembrance Day, the 11th November, we shall be remembering 100 years to the day the end of the First World War in 1918. The day when the armistice was signed in Northern France, at 5am. Six hours later, the fighting stopped, and to commemorate this there is a two-minute silence in the UK at 11am. This year is a very special occasion and to mark the 100 years anniversary and recognising that this year Remembrance Sunday, is the 11th November here in Hoole the 4 churches are coming together for a special wreath laying ceremony at the Hoole and Newton War Memorial on Hoole Rd at 3pm followed by a Memorial Service at All Saints at 3.30pm. Everyone in our community is invited to these 2 special occasions. The poem called ‘For the Fallen’ will be read aloud at these occasions; the most famous stanza of which reads:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
I don’t know if you’ve ever given any thought to the fact that God remembers. God is omniscient, by definition. That means He knows everything there is to know. He knows everything that has happened in the past. He knows what is happening at present. And He knows what will happen in the future. This means that all we have done, good and bad, are all known to Him. He has perfect memory of each and every thing including the wrong that we’ve committed. When we remember some memories we will have feelings of regret and remorse, sometimes we would wish we could change something that was said or done by us or to us. By experiencing God’s forgiveness we can ‘move on’ from these feelings. God does not mysteriously and suddenly “forget” all the bad and wrong things but because of the death of Jesus he chooses to remember them no more – this is the hope of the Christian faith, forgiveness from God via the experience of knowing Jesus enables us to forgive and be forgiven so that we can be free from the effects of some of the bad memories that we so easily remember and become entrapped within the emotions of these memories.