Friday, 10 November 2017

Remember, Remember

November is the month for remembering:
for centuries, throughout Europe, 11th November has been marked as Martinmas - St Martin's Day. The story goes that St Martin was a Roman soldier, in Tours, France, who encountered a beggar on a very dark night, dying of cold in a snowstorm. He cut his cloak in half with his sword, and gave one half to the beggar...who turned out to be Jesus. That night he dreamed that he heard Jesus say "This is Martin, the Roman Soldier who gave me his cloak" He became a Christian priest, and later when they wanted him to be the Bishop, he hid among the geese [but they got him out and made him Bishop anyway] He is credited with helping the viticulture and wine industry in that area of France. 
Consequently on his feast day, throughout much of Europe, people celebrate with roast goose, and much wine, and 'lantern walks' through the dark cold night.
Of course, here in Britain, November 11th is Armistice Day- and we wear our poppies [red - or perhaps white 'peace poppies'] to remember those who gave their lives for their country. It is desperately sad that even since 1945, men and women have continued to be killed as they serve in the Armed Forces. Sunday will be "Remembrance Sunday". Bob always arranges for the BBC coverage of the wreath laying at the Cenotaph to be on the screen in church, so we can join with the Queen, and the nation, in this act of remembrance. It will seem strange this year to see the Queen on the balcony, and not laying her own wreath [but she is 91 after all - and walking backwards down the steps is a challenge at any age]
And last weekend was 5th November- Bonfire Night.  I love fireworks, and greatly enjoyed watching "The Big Boom" with Liz, Jon and Rosie on Friday night. A fabulous display, organised by Norwich City Council, launched from the top of the Castle and visible from vantage points all round the city. I've always felt it was important to remember and celebrate that the plan to kill the KIng and the Parliament failed - and that we still have a Monarchy and a democratically elected Parliament, more than 400 years later. I don't really want to burn effigies of Guido Fawkes or anyone else. [I found the recent 'Gunpowder' series quite unnecessarily violent, and reviews suggest it wasn't that accurate anyway] 
Those who do not remember the past will not learn from it, so...
  • I will remember the importance of caring for those in need [especially as the winter nights grow dark and cold]
  • I will remember that my Saviour called us to be willing to serve - and he sacrificed himself for us
  • I will remember that for all its faults, I live in a country where suffrage, and freedom to worship, other important things are enshrined in law. 
  • I will remember, and be thankful.

1 comment:

  1. I knew Nov. 11 was Poppy Day/Remembrance Day and known as Veterans Day, here, but I didn't know about it being known as Martinmas. I remember Nov. 11 mostly for being my birthday! :)


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