Those of you of a certain age will remember the Pete Seeger song Turn, Turn, Turn (to everything there is a season). The song has been covered many times and the Byrds version being the most well known is included on the soundtrack of the film Forest Gump. The words of course are taken from the bible and include such phrases as a time to be born and a time to die, a time to laugh and time to weep, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing as well as the more difficult lines like a time for war and a time for peace, a time to love and a time to hate, a time to kill and a time to heal. All of the lines in the passage whether good or bad attempt to encapsulate the whole range of human experience joyful and tragic, peaceful and violent. Though written many centuries ago it is a snapshot of real life in the world today.
This season is a time to remember as the nursery rhyme reminds us: Remember, Remember, the fifth of November, of gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot. We do still remember this today on bonfire night, but here’s a thought; perhaps November 5th should become a day of remembrance for all the people who have been victims of terror and hate. In the Spirit of the tradition we could make it a day to unite and say that we will not be defeated by those who wish us harm.
November is also a time for remembering in prayer the faithful who have departed on All Saints day (1st) and All Souls day (2nd). Then of course Armistice day and Remembrance Sunday are a time for us as a nation to remember those who have sacrificed their lives serving our country through war and conflict.
All this is quite a lot of remembering for us to do, but as we look back and remember what has gone before we can also look forward in hope to a time of peace and reconciliation.