Autumn is officially here. Are you a fan? I know many people who have been longing for this time of year, and relish the thought of stews, cosy nights in and watching the leaves outside turn red. Oh, of course, there’s also Bake Off and Strictly Come Dancing. I miss the diminishing light outside and don’t always find winter easy, but I do like this time of year.
It’s also time for Harvest, which we celebrated in the parish on 26 September. At our Harvest Festival, we sang the popular children’s song, “Autumn Leaves”. The lyrics describe many poignant scenes from British life: a winter’s moon, the taste of apple pie and the smell of bacon. However, it’s the chorus which I find so powerful, the reminder that “I mustn't forget.. no I mustn't forget.. to say a great big thank you, I mustn't forget”.
We’re currently in a season of Creationtide, which reminds us that this is God’s world and we are stewards of it. This will be followed by the season of Remembrance, which for us here includes our two church Memorial Services at the end of October, and then of course, Remembrance Sunday in November. You’ll no doubt have picked up on this not-so-subtle repetition of remembering. It’s important not to forget our world and its needs, but also remembering those who have gone before us and are now resting with God in heaven. This year will also be a poignant as we remember those who passed away from Covid. There is much to remember.
Remembering is good for us. That’s why the Jews were commanded to remember the stories of how God had been there for them. Left to our own devices, we will forget and will drift away from God. Stopping each day for a few minutes to recall God’s goodness and provision enables us to pull away from the demands of our lives to consider the value of our relationship with our maker. When we do this, and ponder on what God has done for us, and will do for us, we inevitably are filled with gratitude.
So as you journey through October into the darker months, don’t forget. Don’t forget that you are unconditionally loved, that you have value in God’s eyes, that you have new life and purpose, that you matter and that you are utterly unique. Don’t forget to say a great big thank you, will you?