This month’s reflection comes to us from Mr John Dodd

Dear friends

Remembrance

We are now in the season of remembrance and of course memories are very important to us, though we may wish not to remember 2020! However even this strange year forms us and our lives and we need to remember all the factors that shape us. These of course include our relations and friends that are no longer with us but have influenced us. In church at this time of year we would normally be holding our Commemoration Service for those who have recently passed away, but cannot do so, though that does not mean we do not remember or think about them and we need to continue supporting each other and even those we do not know personally by all the means that we have employed during the pandemic restrictions and I sincerely hope that we will remember to continue to show compassion and support for one another once we can return to “normal”. After all, it is what Jesus told us to do and showed us by his example.

In the Gospel of St John 13:34–35 we read:

At the Last Supper, Jesus instructed His disciples to love one another: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”

Of course the Last Supper also gives another important reminder of Christ and our faith by recalling this event each week in our Communion Services.

In Luke 22:19-20

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’

Remembrance is an important aspect of Christianity.  As believers we are encouraged and strengthened by remembering the faith and deeds of those who have gone before us. We remember that ours is an ancient faith, we remember the promises of God’s word, and as we do so our confidence is built in trusting God and living in his truth.

There are several places in Scripture where we are encouraged to remember, but the commandment from Jesus spoken on the night he was betrayed stands out from the rest.   There is a deep and vibrant meaning to this instruction, and this remembrance continues to be a cornerstone of our faith. Events in the Old Testament often serve the dual purpose of fulfilling God’s promises to his people in the moment, while also providing a view of what is to come. In the Last Supper, Jesus himself was recalling and participating in the Jewish festival of Passover, which had been observed annually since Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt. The original Passover was a miraculous occurrence, and the pivotal event in the formation of God’s people as a nation. And of course Jesus was establishing the future of the Christian faith in the commandments He was giving to his disciples.

We may not be able to hold all our usual acts of remembrance this year, but we certainly need to continue recalling our past and how this has shaped our now and will affect our future and that includes this strangest of years.

John Dodd

stgilesbalderton@gmail.com