St Mary’s Church Coddenham

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From The Rectory – Memories

by | Nov 2, 2023 | Coddenham Church

St Marys Church Coddenham in Autumn by Georgie Kerr

And so to Thetford Forest for a day out.  Monday promised to be the best day of the week, and so it proved.  Time with old friends, a walk in the forest and a good lunch.

Climbing out of our car under the shadow of tall pines, we were treated to a noisy fly-past of jet fighters from nearby RAF Lakenheath: shades of my former life.  Walking these woodland paths, with ex-service friends, further served to refresh memories.  Much has changed since my days in uniform, and even more since I helped care for jet fighters hiding amongst the trees.  Sadly, as recent events tell, much else hasn’t.

This was not a trip to memory lane. We had not gone to look at aircraft, we were there to meet friends, enjoy time together in the fresh air and share over a meal – timeless human activities.  All the same, past memories were triggered.

This is the season of remembering; All Saints Day, All Souls Day and, next week, Remembrance.  It is the time we are encouraged to remember those we have known and loved but see no more, together with the sacrifices of many others who we will never know, but without whose self-giving, we could not enjoy the freedoms and comforts that we do.  Memories at this time can be bittersweet; as gratitude and happy memories mix with pain and loss; as an old photograph or letter unearths hidden hurts or joys.  Memories can, or should, also encourage us to live, love and serve.

In the years after his Passion, Jesus’ disciples must have lived with many, often conflicting memories: the early excitement of his teaching and healing; how they had bickered over who was the greatest as he prepared for his crucifixion; how they had abandoned him when he needed them most; the empty tomb; his forgiveness; his new commission — go tell.  This last is the vital link.

Looking back, remembering, even re-living; is not a nostalgia trip.  Remembering where we have come from, the challenges faced, the gifts given; should also point to where we still have to go.  Just hours before his death, a confused disciple said; Lord we do not know where you are going, how can we know the way?  Jesus replied simply I am the way, (Jn 14:5,6).  In this the season of remembering: remember your journey so far, remember with gratitude those you have journeyed with, then look ahead and remember this: however uncertain the next steps look, he who is the way has also promised I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matt 28: 20)

Reverend Philip Payne                                                      All Saints-tide

The Notice Sheet for 5th November can be found here


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