Meditations from the Ministry Team
In mid-August we were able to visit the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast with our eldest daughter and our youngest son. Owen has always been keen on the night sky and as we were fortunate to be camping in a very rural and quite an isolated location, we enjoyed beautiful night skies filled with clear stars. We sat for a few hours in the evenings, huddled under copious blankets watching the stars. It’s surprising what you see when you are alongside someone who can point out knowledgeably at what we were looking at. Our world can be busy and imposing and we don’t always want to be reminded by just how insignificant, it and we, are by staring the vastness of space in the eye and seeing it stare us down, timelessly. And yet, we had none of those feelings. We were happy with our place in the cosmos, at ease with its infinite nature and comforted by knowing that. There are times when the world can catch us off guard, even in the midst of our rushing, extending an invitation to realise again just how extraordinary a place it is.
As the days shorten and the long dark nights pervade our skies we can think back and remember. November is the month for remembering, after missing out last year we maybe going to community fireworks and bonfires when we remember Guy Fawkes on the 5th November and his attempt to destroy Parliament. We also remember those who have died and were close to us whether family or friend at the All Souls Service which will be on Sunday 7th November 4pm at St John’s Hatch Beauchamp, all are welcome to this service. On Sunday 14th November 11am we will remember in Acts of Remembrance across our Benefice all those who lost their lives in the First World War and subsequent wars since. We renew our determination to bring an end to death, injury and mental health problems that come from the horrors of war. A poignant moment to reflect and honour the service and sacrifice given by so many in our Armed Forces. It always shocks me how many names are on the war memorials in our small villages and the devastating effect it had on the families and our communities whose men never came home.
Added to these remembrances, we also remember those that are physically close and those living away from us and we may not have seen for a long time. We treasure our memories of people – both the living and those who are no longer with us physically. November is definitely a time for Remembrance in more ways than one!
Living here surrounded by the countryside is a privilege that we can sometimes take for granted. As I sit writing this, the autumn sun is blazing through my study window. The vibrant autumn colour is starting to flood our garden. Enjoying these moments when we connect with something beyond our preoccupations can be thin times. The Christian tradition would call such moments God given when the world gives us time to pause, to consider it and its creator.
It may be that the natural world doesn’t appeal; perhaps it’s music, art, food, and so on, that lift your spirits, suggesting that there is a beauty at work in the universe that wants to be known. Not something that makes all things easy, but that, perhaps, causes us to glimpse that we are not alone. May we acknowledge the thin spaces in our lives and allow ourselves to breathe them in during these months ahead.
With all blessings Revd Joanna