16 November – David Muskett, Petersfield Methodist Church
Our calendar is punctuated by dates on which we’re prompted to remember certain events or people. Two recent ones were Bonfire Night (5th) and Armistice Day (11th) or Remembrance Sunday.
I wonder how you remember things?
Even if we’re not finding memory difficult, it helps to have a strategy. You might tie a knot in a hankie and later take it out and think “ah, yes, there was something I had to remember. Now, what was that?”!If it is remembering to do something in the future a diary is a good strategy. But what if it’s an event from the past that you want to be able to call to mind at a later date? How do you remember that? You may have photos, or a place to go or an object that makes a connection for you.
Guy Fawkes’ Night and Remembrance Day use objects and actions to make a connection. Bonfires, fireworks and the burning of Guy Fawkes in effigy make a connection with the attempt to blow up Parliament. They remind us of a dark time in relations between Christians of different denominations which we seek to leave behind. Wearing poppies for Remembrance and Armistice Day reminds us of the poppy clad battlefields on which so many died and renews our determination that conflict should cease between people and nations.
Christians have always remembered events central to our faith by using objects and actions. Bread and wine, broken, poured out and shared to remind us that we are a community that comes together in worship around a table because of a death and a life renewed in which we share. Like other remembering it brings the past event into our present in order that our future may be changed.