As I walked from the church, dusk was falling. Pausing a moment, I looked back and was taken by the warm, peaceful glow in the windows. How quickly things had changed. At mid-day, heavy rain, driven by high winds, had lashed the Rectory windows. By mid-afternoon I was standing in front of the church, looking out over fields bathed in sunshine. The sky had cleared and was blue once more, the air still, peace had returned. Now, as the sunlight sank away, the church cast a warm light into the evening.
I had been at Earl Stonham for our annual service of Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, otherwise known as ‘All Souls’. All Souls is a special time, an opportunity to come together as a community and remember that our loved ones, dead to this life, now live in God’s eternal presence. A reminder, that all of us will pass that way. A reminder too, that we live in the love of God.
We all have memory moments, spread across the year. Some are painful, others bring smiles, happy moments, encouragement. This afternoon I was encouraged. The early storms had given way to quiet beauty. Inside the church, candles flickered in memory of loved ones; now the light reached out into the darkening world. Over recent months there has been much darkness, many storms. From Covid to climate, with many places in between, more are threatened. Now, as I walked away from the church building, I saw the light from God’s house shining, following me into the dusk; a reminder that, however thick the darkness, God’s loving light prevails. In Him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of all people. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (Jn 1,4,5). May we, too, shine with his light.
Rev Philip Payne
The Notice Sheet for 7 November can be found here.