A season of remembrance and lament

Posted by

November is a time when we often pause to reflect and remember those we have loved and lost.  It is the traditional time of year when we have memorial services as the church celebrates All Saints Day and All Souls Day on the 1st and 2nd of November.  All Saints Day remembers in particular the Christian Martyrs who have been killed for their faith throughout the ages and All Souls remembers all those who have gone before us, the faithful departed, who now reside with God.  It also includes Remembrance Day when we bring to mind those who have lost their lives in war.

This year as it approaches there is a particular heaviness, locally the incidents of knife crime have been devastating and distressing, and globally the loss of innocent life in the Holy Land, both in Israel and Gaza, has been heartbreaking and hard to comprehend.  Scripture speaks about wars and rumours of wars so perhaps we should not be surprised when we see conflict break out and fear and mistrust between people grow.  But our faith tells us that this is not the way and that ultimately God’s love and peace will win out.  Light will shine in the darkness and the darkness will never overcome it.

This November we invite you to join us in remembering and also lamenting.  Lament is not something we always do well in the church, though in the Bible there are plenty of examples.  There are many psalms which put into words deep anger and distress, questions and complaints to God.  This season we want to give space and voice to the more difficult emotions and bring before God our honest wrestling.  Not seeking easy answers but seeking God’s presence, not expecting immediate solutions but seeking God’s action and activity to help us transform our community and world for the better.