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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

9th November 2011: Rev'd Joanna Farrell, Assistant Priest, All Saints', Steep and St Peter's, High Cross

Remember, remember

At this time of year the church does a lot of remembering. On 1st November there's All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day is on the 2nd, Remembrance Day on the 11th and Remembrance Sunday which this year falls on 13th November. In that short period we shall have remembered the saints, the people whose lives reveal the activity of God in any one of a number of ways, all those who have died and for whose rest and peace we pray, and then on Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday we specifically remember the servicemen and women who have given their lives in the service of this country from World War I to the present day.

Why do we remember? Because retelling stories, reliving memories, helps us to build a picture of who we are, where we have come from, maybe even where we are going. Storytelling helps create identity and reinforce relationships. Quite literally, storytelling helps us re-member, or put back together, the events of the past and maybe to learn from them for the future.

We owe many of the stories in the Bible to the people who told and retold the stories of their encounters with God, of their travels and tribulations, their understanding of their relationship with God. And remembrance is at the heart of the Christian faith - Jesus' command to his disciples on the night before he died was to "do this in remembrance of me", to share bread and wine as his body and blood given for them - and us. On Remembrance Sunday we often hear other words Jesus spoke to his disciples, "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No-one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." There is much to remember.

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