Lamplighter: The Pastor's Pen

“Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason
Why gunpowder, treason,
Should ever be forgot…”

The fifth of November in England has, for centuries, been a day to remember the failed plot of Guy Fawkes. In 1605, he and other Catholic conspirators planned to blow up the Parliament building, killing the Protestant King James in the process. Fawkes was put in charge of smuggling gunpowder into the basement of Parliament. However, because of an anonymous letter, the plot was uncovered. Guy Fawkes was arrested, tortured, and eventually executed for treason. To this day, the people of England (and others around the world) remember the day when the parliament building, as well as the life of King James, was spared. Many still create large bonfires and burn effigies of Fawkes in commemoration of the event.

As Christians, remembrance is an important part of our lives and worship. We have various feast days, holy days (“holi-days”), and other festivals to celebrate and remember what has come in the past. While Christmas and Easter are the two most well known in the minds of most people, Thanksgiving has also become a holiday during which Christians come together for worship, thanking God for the many blessings—physical and spiritual—he has given to them (despite Thanksgiving not being a ‘Church’ holiday). A lesser known, but no less important, festival falls on November 1, though we usually celebrate it the first Sunday in November. All Saints Day is a festival day set aside from ancient times when Christians remember and celebrate the lives of faith God has blessed his people with. It has its origins in the celebration of the faith of the many martyrs who died for their faith in the first several centuries after Christ. Today, we specifically remember the faith God gave to the faithful who came before us, especially those who have died in the faith.

We remember these faithful Christians not because of their great works (though we certainly strive to emulate them) or because of their power, prestige, wealth, or family names. Truly, the saints of God are poor, lowly, meek, merciful, persecuted, and seekers of peace and righteousness. Instead of their greatness, we rejoice in the reality that God remembered them in their low estates. He loved them so much that he sent his Son Jesus into the world for them. And just as he remembered his Son by raising him from the dead, he remembers those who are in Christ. They will never be forgotten or forsaken, because Jesus is their hope and their glory.

Faith, a gift from God, clings to this reality. God made us his children, and we should rejoice and thank God for his generosity, love, and mercy. With all the saints who have come before us, we eagerly await the day of our Lord’s return, when he will raise us and all the saints and bring us to everlasting life in a new creation.

         -Pastor Squire