Thursday 3rd December
It was significant that on the day of the parliamentary vote on the escalation of conflict in Syria and Iraq, we use some of the ancient Advent Antiphons as a focus for our prayers
O Wisdom of our God Most High,guiding creation with power and love:come to teach us the path of knowledge!
We prayed for wisdom, beyond politics that sees the human cost.
O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:come to rescue us with your mighty power!
For the law makers and keepers. Two wrongs etc.
O Root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people: come to save us without delay.
Our need of God in the discussions, discision and actions. With those who carry out the vote and those who will suffer.l
Marantha – come Lord Jesus – come to save us without delay.
There are many reasons why we need to remember.
There is never someone so crass as one who believes they are ultra modern and up to date with this or that trend or ‘ new’ way of doing something. This is especially so when all they have done is rediscover something our ancestors knew and practiced to a great degree of precision and joy than the shadow of today’s ‘new’ thing.
Memory and the recollections of times past and what was learned from those experiences should be the building blocks of current wisdom. Folly is the reliance on the here and now without reference to wider community experiences.
The First World War, the “Wars to end all wars” clearly was not experience enough. Gladly the ‘Booth’s Fire’ in Huddersfield 1941, change factory working and fire regulations as much as the ‘Huskar PIt Disaster’ of 1837 eventually prevented woman and children from going underground.
Without memories we lose ourselves. People with dementia can forget to eat, forget where they are altogether, they can forget family and friends, even to the extent of who they are themselves. Loss of memory means loss of self awareness within one’s own life.
When you think about it even as a nation we have our memory of the past which informs the present. Failure to observe history and all to easily history can repeat itself.
Even the history of faith is a process of learning and remembering from the past. Just look at how our nation sits, sometimes uneasily, with its own spiritual formation. Can that formation be forgotten or abandoned as strident atheists would have us believe? Nothing so crass?
Remembrance-tide is that part of the year when conscious remembering adds significancet to the present. Ask anyone who has lost someone in war or indeed is living through a bereavement. Memories are compact holdings of our lives – distilled and precious.