We have turned the clocks back and entered the season of ‘dark nights’! November is the month when we remember the sacrifice made by many thousands in the First World War and other conflicts since, and that sacrifice must never be forgotten.
But this year there is an added poignancy as we remember that over forty thousand families in our nation alone, and many more world-wide, have faced the grief of losing loved ones to Covid-19. This is not in any way to overshadow the significance of Remembrance for those who died in war, but to sit alongside that act. Whilst the cause and the politics of those deaths might be different, the grief felt by loved ones who are left is as intense, and our thoughts and prayers are with all who grieve.
You might look to this opening page for encouragement and would be right in thinking that there is nothing so far to lift the spirits!But November, our ‘dark season’, precedes December, our Advent season, a time of waiting and preparation followed by our Christmas season, when we remember that Jesus, the ‘Light of the world’, was born a baby in Bethlehem.That is for next month’s contributor to pick up on but for now consider the words of Jesus to his disciples: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33)
Christian faith is not a magic wand which, with a wave, sprinkles magic dust on all our troubles and they evaporate into thin air! Christian faith is trust in a real person, Jesus Christ, who knows our troubles and walks with us, carrying us if necessary, through those difficult times.
I once heard a Christian speaker say, “Faith in God isn’t ‘pie-in-the-sky-when-you-die’; it’s ‘steak-on-your-plate-while-you-wait’”! In other words, the promise of peace that Jesus offers isn’t for some timein the future; it is for now – and always. So, however uncertain and unsettled you might feel, allow the light of Jesus to shine in your life – and share that light with others you meet in the days ahead.Shalom, peace be with you.