Pastoral Letter November 2013

For a thousand years in Your sight
 are like yesterday when it is past, 
and like a watch in the night.

Psalm 90.4

 

Dear Friends,

November always brings us to a time of remembrance. In preparing our ‘Reformation Day’ talk on William Tyndale, I was looking into the history of the village of Little Sodbury, and found that it was a ‘thankful village’. Not one inhabitant was lost during the First World War. There are only 52 ‘thankful villages’. The scale of loss in World Wars, and conflicts since, is hard to comprehend. But it is very easy to forget!

We need to remember the price which was paid for our freedom, and the great capacity man has for wickedness, as we remember the great sacrifice which so many made, and the bravery and courage of so many more. Some will still sorrow on ‘Armistice Day’, but for most, the general feeling is one of thankfulness and respect. Still, it can be hard to comprehend much of what began to happen, in the main, 99 long years ago.

It is not so with the Lord our God. He has perfect knowledge of all things past, present, and future. We often struggle to remember the last seven days, let alone our lifetimes – but with the Lord, a thousand years are like a day. He remembers every creature He has ever created, and He knows what we are like – we forget!

So, we should never despise the ways He has devised for us to remember important things. He has given us His Word, the Bible. Do we read it regularly, and commit it to memory? He has given us a pattern for prayer. Do we pray as we should? He has given us the church, and we can gather together and remind each other of all the great things the Lord has done for us individually and corporately. Of course, He has given us the Lord’s Supper, and we hear our Saviour say ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ ( 1 Cor 11.24) as we repent of sin, and rejoice in the great Salvation accomplished at Calvary.

Remembrance is good, and we need it, because we forget. At the same time, we must not live in the past. Our Saviour has a great eternal future for us, which should be our focus. Does it all seem a long way off and distant – like a thousand years? It is not! If you knew that you only had a day to live, how would you live? What would you do? As we remember with thanksgiving past fallen heroes, let us remember with greatest thanksgiving the Lord Jesus Christ, and live for Him, boldly and fully, in the here–and–now!

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