"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Quiet Garden Devotional for November 2020

As the last of autumn’s coloured raiment scatters on the ichthys path and the hours of precious sunlight decrease, we anticipate the change of seasons and the challenges to come.  In this Covid year, the thoughts of continuing to be isolated prompt, for many, increased anxiety, generated not only by the pandemic but by the wintery weather sure to makes its surly arrival. 

Social activities, special events and visits with family are limited and all those who normally would be preparing for their winter holiday in the sunny south, are already missing its promise. Shopping, school, medical appointments, even gathering as a faith community, feels risky, however careful we are to stay Covid-safe. Even as chilly winds blow, many still pause in-person in the Quiet Garden; others visit in spirit. 

November is a season of remembrance. All Saints and All Souls Days speak of those we ‘love but see no longer’.  We give thanks for how their lives touched ours, we ask for their strength to help us through these times, and we rejoice that they are still with us in spirit, even as they rest within God’s embrace.

We also mark Remembrance Day, honouring those of every generation who gave, and continue to give, of themselves sacrificially so that all ‘at home’ could live without fear.  To them we owe great gratitude. May the words “Lest We Forget” remain upon our lips and in our hearts.

November has a ‘bad rap’ (with reason!) and yet can be approached as a time of self-care, of thoughtfulness towards others and of ‘cocooning’ in the abiding presence of the Holy One.  There are times when we may not feel that God is with us but that doesn’t change the conviction that God is! When in doubt, pray: Creator of the universe, watch over us and keep us in the light of your presence. May our praise continually blend with that of all creation, until we come to the eternal joys which you promise in your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (B.A.S. p. 132)