On the first Sunday in November, it has become our custom to light candles. We do so in memory of those who have touched our lives and have died. They are family or congregational members we’ve lost. They are strangers who have suffered innocently. They are long-gone loved ones.
To remember is to bring to mind again, making present what seems to be distant or past.
We light a candle and speak a name, and there is a re-membering — a restoring of the presence and touch of someone who has gone. The company grows. We celebrate and find strength in the cloud of witnesses.
God, in the Hebrew scriptures, often “remembers” people. That remembering typically sparks an action on their behalf. Not just a matter of sentimental recollection, it is rather a renewed commitment to the person.
As we remember those who have been part of our lives, we recognize their impact in and among us. And we renew our commitment to passing on the gifts they shared!