‘Remember, Remember the 5th of November’. Have you ever thought it odd that we celebrate the attempted destruction of the Houses of Parliament? The fireworks crashing and banging around us and the smell of bonfires in the air leaving slightly mysterious mist. Not everyone likes fireworks of course; in fact we have one member of the family who really doesn’t approve at all. Dizzy is a fairly huge white dog with very long legs and a big soppy face (a bit like a Great Dane). The trouble is he bounds about quite a bit, lolloping hither and yon. My daughter and her family (who live with him) are convinced he doesn’t really understand how big he is. There is a sneaking suspicion that he thinks he’s a poodle.
There have been a spate of early firework parties around their way and Dizzy doesn’t like it one bit. The sight of this daft dog sitting on my daughters lap with his head buried under her arm, quivering alarmingly has to be seen to be believed. If he can’t quite get to a lap he puts his head on the ground and covers his ears with his paws and looks at the humans around him with eyes that plead for it to stop. I think he could be described as a wimp – you should see him with cats!
The fifth isn’t the only date we remember in November of course. The 11th is actually called Remembrance Day and this year it falls on a Sunday. The service begins at 10.50am and we will have a minute’s silence at 11.00am. Perhaps on that day somewhere in the Middle East there may be fireworks of a different kind; the sound of gunfire and bombs the smell of smoke as fires take hold. There will be people who cannot hide from these fireworks, who cannot seek comfort hidden safely in the arms of those who love them. There are those who have to live with the reality of war and terrorist activity so far away from our experiences here in Britain. Many have to look it full in the face, the civilians and the military, men, women and children. It’s out of their hands but they are the ones who suffer.
This year on Remembrance Day we are going to remember the brave men and women who are part of our armed services but we are also going to pray for those affected by war and who seek peace. We will consider what a wonderful world it would be if only we listened to the peacemakers. As Jesus said ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’. Our young people in Brigades and in Junior Church are doing research for the service and will be taking part. I do hope you can come.