November 09

posted 30 Oct 2009, 08:39 by Richard Jones   [ updated 25 Nov 2009, 01:10 ]
The Vicar writes.....


As soon as the Harvest Festival Service is over , my thoughts, if they haven't already, turn towards Advent and Christmas. But there's one other major event in church that has to be considered first.

The second Sunday in November, this year it's the 8th, is Remembrance Sunday and because it still has greater than average significance for a great many people, it still requires a good deal of preparation. This year I'm due to be taking the service at Mellor and so I need to phone round to find out what we do for the Last Post & the Reveille. And I also need to begin to study the possible Bible readings and to have some initial thoughts about what I'm going to say.

And as I've sat and pondered, I've realised that Remembrance isn't just something we do each year in November. It's actually something we do every Sunday of the year (and at many other times too). And we do it because, as Christians, we have to. We do it because of the instruction given to his disciples by Jesus himself when he said: "Do this in Remembrance of me". So I'd like to share my thoughts with you.

DO this in remembrance of me: He's not telling us just to think about it or to talk about it but actually, to get on and carry it out. And it's a direct command. Jesus doesn't say `maybe do this' or `do this or not, as you choose', but `do this'. It's not an option; it's the specific will of our Lord.

Do THIS in remembrance of me: Again, there's no room for debate. The action is laid out clearly. Take the cup of wine and share it, and take the bread and break and share it. We may find other parts of our regular service comfortable or reassuring or comforting or familiar or uplifting, but we do well to bear in mind that anything over and above the central core is not specifically instructed by Jesus and as such should never assume greater importance or take over as the heart of our celebration.

Do this IN REMEMBRANCE of me: to remember suggests `something that's brought into focus in our mind that comes from a personal encounter or experience in our life'. It suggests that in order to obey this command of Jesus fully, we must each have experienced something of God who is the almighty Father, by the revelation of our Saviour, his Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot know the heart of anyone as thoroughly as God does. As individuals, our personal faith is a matter of complete understanding, only between us and God. And we should always be aware that nobody can deceive God.

And finally; Do this in remembrance OF ME: not because you always have, or your family does, or you like to get away from the phone, or a hundred and one other possibilities, but rather because it gives you a chance to focus on Jesus Christ and his amazing, sacrificial, unstinting love for each and every one of us, saint and sinner alike.

Not just once a year, but every Sunday, we are given the opportunity to put our Christian faith into practice and draw strength from our Lord and from each other.

I would suggest that that is something we cannot afford to miss out on? May God's blessing be with you all