Pause for Though November 2017

Remember, remember…

Recently I spent a month in Kenya visiting the area where my wife and I used to teach over thirty years ago. I stayed with the Bishop of TaitaTaveta Diocese and when I travelled with him to churches I was always asked to introduce myself. A common phrase I used was nimesahau Kiswahili, pole sana. It means “I have forgotten Kiswahili, very sorry”. It has been fourteen years since I was last in Kenya so my Kiswahili was very rusty. But I did remember many things from over thirty years ago when I revisited places and people, especially the more noteworthy or unusual. 

We are in a season of remembering – November 5th, Remembrance Sunday, and (sorry to remind you), we will be remembering those readings and carols for Christmas services soon. (Sorry if the reference to Christmas seems premature…).

At the war memorial we will read out the names of those who died in conflicts and we will remember them. I always find it moving to imagine them as alive and saying to them as they died, “many yet to be born will remember you by name a century from now.”

Remembering is important. We have all said or had said to us something like, “Oh how nice that you still remember that (or remember me) after all this time…”

It was interesting to revisit places in Kenya, some for the first time in many years and see how accurately I remembered them. For special places (which had stayed the same and not been altered or developed), my recollection was surprisingly good. 

That’s good to know, as we have just celebrated ‘Bible Sunday’ in church. The Gospels were written down some thirty years or more after the events they describe. Two of the Gospels record events around the birth of Jesus. We read in Luke 2:19 that Mary the mother of Jesus treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.Her recall of all the events helped Luke to write his Gospel (‘an orderly account’ as he calls it in the beginning verses of his Gospel). For these are not fanciful stories of the ‘once upon a time’ sort, but claim to be accurate written records of certain events so that they could be remembered. They were writing things down that occurred over thirty years earlier – noteworthy and unusual events that people like Mary had pondered and treasured for many years.

I hope you will come along to remember on Remembrance Sunday and to some of the activities in the churches to remember the events that Mary treasured and pondered, which remain after the Victorian veneer has been left behind.

Remembering things is one of the central parts of our Sunday worship. The Psalmist says in Psalm 103 Praise the LORD, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is.Most Sundays we follow Jesus’ instructions and take bread and wine to eat and drink “In remembrance of me”. 

I hope you get time to reflect and remember important things in the months ahead.

 

Every blessing

Rev Dave Mayor