Saturday, 5 November 2011

Remember, remember...

Remember, remember the fifth of November
gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot

The night sky has been a riot of colour as we celebrate Guy Fawkes. Remembering in the season of Remembrance.
Joshua, that great leader who led the Israelites into the promised land, succeeding Moses, gathers the people together to remember. He reminds them of the people with whom they journeyed and the trials they endured and, through it all,  the faithfulness of God. And then Joshua challenges them: Remembering this history - whom will you serve? Joshua strikes, for the people, a new covenant with God.
Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 23He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” 24The people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and him we will obey.”25So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem.
It would seem that we are good at the rituals of remembrance. Those we can do. Our rituals become ever more elaborate and inventive. It's letting our remembrance make a difference that we're not so good at. 
We remember some awful things yet fail to learn from them, fail to live differently in order to avoid history being repeated.
A new covenant, choosing to serve God, might help us honour the saints we remember, the living and the dead by committing ourselves to seek peace and practice justice. Until then, our remembering means nothing.

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