Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
November is traditionally the month of remembrance. Perhaps the most powerful remembrance is the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 when the guns on the Western Front fell silent and the ‘war to end all wars’ came to an end. Each year on Remembrance Sunday, this nation remembers and honours all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to secure and protect our freedom. It is not war that is being celebrated here but the sacrifice made by those who died or suffered in war. In remembering those who have died let us not forget:
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16(NIV)
In this country we also remember November 5th, Guy Fawkes Day. In 1605 religious teaching in England was Protestant making it difficult, if not impossible for followers of the Catholic faith to worship freely. Guy Fawkes and the other members of the Gunpowder Plot were all Catholics and the plot was a response to the repression they experienced. Thus they decided to blow up the King and his government at the opening of Parliament on 5 November 1605. The plot was foiled but the memory remains. Indeed, it finds echo in the UK when the people recently decided in a referendum that Brussels did not have their best interests at heart and so rebelled by voting to leave the EU. In similar fashion, our American cousins have decided that the current political establishment is out of touch with ordinary folk and so have elected as President a man from outside the political spectrum.
But as we remember those no longer with us on this earth let us look forward to the future. The newly elected leader of the free world has an awesome task ahead of him. Indeed his policies and the decisions he takes will have far reaching effects well beyond the boundaries of the US. Let us then pray that he will seek God’s guidance in making those decisions.
Let us pray as St Paul urges us:
1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (NIV)
For as St Peter tells us we must:
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor. 1 Peter 2:13-14, 17 (NIV)
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years