We seek to worship God and share the love of Jesus through serving the community
Remembering November is the month for remembering.
“Remember, remember the 5th of November.” I remember chanting this one as firework night drew ever closer. The excitement of the bangs and whizzes, the smells, the hot soup and rolls. A wonderful evening.
And of course where would November be without BBC’s ‘Children in Need’ occupying our screens, reminding us of the plight of so many children in our country who deal with many issues of health, poverty and abuse. And being asked to make donations to help deal with many of these issues.
And then there is Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday. A time to remember all those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, and who still do today. Particularly poignant this year because it marks 100 years since the end of WWI.
November is the month to remember. It is also the month in which the season of Advent begins. This is an important part of the Christian calendar, when we set, or should do, time aside to remember to celebrate not only the 1st coming of Jesus 2000 years ago, but also to remind ourselves to be constantly ready to be prepared for His 2nd coming.
Remembering to celebrate Jesus’ 1st coming is the easy one to be ready for. Christmas Day on the 25th December is something that would be hard to forget – supermarkets are very good at this! And while it can be both an exciting and stressful time, it is one we know how to prepare for. Christmas card lists, food lists, present lists are all there. And of course there are the parties and people to see.
What is more difficult to prepare for is the 2nd coming of Jesus. How do we prepare for Jesus’ return since He didn’t give us a date and time. All that He said when asked about His return was: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.” (Acts 1 v 7)
Advent is a time when we can set aside a little extra time to focus on Christ and reflect our relationship with Him. This can be done in prayer, Bible study and worship. It can be done alone or with others. Through this time, and with an attentive ear to what God may be saying to us, we can work on those areas in our lives where we are weak, where God has been kept at bay, or where we have succumbed to temptation without realising it. This will help us be ready for Jesus’ 2nd coming.
We need to remember that God loves us, and in Jesus has come to us to deal with those sins and weaknesses in our lives. The cross is the one constant reminder of how God achieved this. Gathering together, we can help each other to remember what Jesus has done for us, which should be the spur to want to amend our lives – with the help of God’s Holy Spirit.
So let us remember, together, that God is good.
Yours in the service of Christ, Dave Bishop (Rev)