Minister's letter

A message for November

 

from the Revd. Bob Latham

 

 

 

 

November is a reflective month. The daylight hours reduce and the nights draw in across a carpet of fallen leaves. It is a season for brisk walks and hearty suppers, the smell of woodsmoke and the cawing of gathering crows. There is something comforting about the pattern of the changing seasons and we will each have our favourite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The church year moves in November to a season of remembrance, that holds our communities in the intimate embrace of past and present. At the service of All Souls we remember all those who we have loved and lost over the course of our lives. This follows the celebration of All Saints where we give thanks for those figures from the more distant past whose examples and teaching guide our lives today. On Remembrance Sunday, we recall the losses of war. We come together to honour the suffering and courage of previous generations - their ability to live through great upheaval and loss and we remember the individual families that continue to bear such losses year-by-year. All these living traditions will continue this year, but we will experience them differently as our perspective and experience is changed.

 

 

 

This year we find ourselves living through a time of uncertainty and upheaval, on a personal local and national scale. This November is a time to remember the past in order to be confident of our future. As a community, we have been through many trials over many generations and we are at our strongest and best when we look out for each other; celebrating together, grieving together, feasting together and when necessary, sharing our meagre rations together. We may not be able to gather in the usual way, but we can offer hospitality and solidarity with our hearts. The time ahead will be tough for many in our neighbourhoods and we need to support each other through this season, until the daylight increases and new shoots emerge. Christian hope is rooted in a promise and a challenge. The promise is of God’s unconditional love for all of us - the challenge is for us to share it unconditionally. These are not empty words, but a call to welcome all comers as we would welcome Jesus himself. In Matthew’s gospel he teaches his followers that the measure of their love for him is how they treat the poorest and most in need: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40).  We might ask ourselves, how will people remember this time of 2020 in generations from now - will they speak of our courage and spirit, our generosity of heart - our care for one another?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This November,

as we remember those

who have gone before us, 

let us go forward together in hope

 

Every Blessing

Bob

Fromeside Benefice