What does the month of November conjure up for you? The rhyme ‘Remember Remember the 5th of November’ reminds us of the events behind Bonfire night, when Guy Fawkes and fellow conspirators were thwarted in their attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.
Fortunately this is now celebrated in a more peaceful manner around bonfires with fireworks to cheer us up at the onset of earlier and colder nights, although we should, maybe, choose to attend an organised event and be mindful of pets and babies who might be scared of the noise.
November is often thought of as a sombre month because it signals the start of winter. We may have mists and grey skies, but we can also have beautiful sunny days with wonderful autumn colours. In the past, people would spend the month storing up their harvest and preparing their food and homes in order to survive the winter. Nowadays, here in the UK, we are mostly blessed with supplies in the shops and heating in our homes, although we are aware that many, even in this country, are finding it difficult to make ends meet. The recent ‘petrol panic’ makes us realise how much is taken for granted. The COVID 19 pandemic has made us appreciate all those who work in the health and other service sectors.
November is also a time to pause and remember. On the 11th November, Armistice Day, and on Remembrance Sunday, this year on the 14th, we commemorate the lives of those caught up in conflicts. It’s also a time of year when we remember loved ones we have lost.
In Ecclesiastes 3 we read there is a time for everything under heaven. In verse 4 ‘A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;’
November is a good time to remember others and share memories, but also to find ways to brighten up the dull days by helping others and bringing some light into the shorter days. Just a smile makes the world a brighter place.
Let’s think of reasons to be cheerful, 1,2,3. For me those might be:
Jesus was sent into the world to bring light where there is darkness
The kindness of others, sometimes unexpected
Rainbows –a celebration of all life, a sign of hope, of God’s love
How about you?
Maureen Bodden, Trinity elder