This well-known nursery rhyme is about thirteen young men and their plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Among them was the famous Guy Fawkes, who was captured below the House of Lords with 36 barrels of gunpowder. In England, every year on the 5th of November his capture is celebrated by the lighting of bonfires. As a result this night is known as Bonfire Night.
The month of November has some other very notable dates of importance to help us remember. The 11th November is Armistice Day when we remember the end of the 1st World War. The second Sunday in November is Remembrance Sunday when we remember those who have died as a result of war and conflict.
Within the Church’s calendar on the 30th November we celebrate St. Andrew’s Day. This year on the last Sunday in November we mark the beginning of the season of Advent. The season of Advent is not solely to remind us that there is only four weeks until the celebration of the Nativity of our Lord, but is to encourage us to think of His promise to one day return. During Advent, as Christians, we not only prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, but also prepare ourselves for His return.
The very meaning of the word Advent (means ‘coming’) encourages us to think of preparing for when Jesus will return to take His people to Heaven. Just after Jesus ascended into Heaven we read in the Acts of the Apostles’ chapter 2 verse 11 “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” And in John chapter 14 verse 3 we read the words of Jesus when he said “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” This is a promise that He will return and call his people to Himself. However, for this event we need to be ready and we have preparations to make. To do this we must follow the simple ABC - A = Admit we are sinners, B = Believe with all our heart that He is Lord, C = Confess our sins and that we need Him in our lives. The words of hymn 132 tell us of the Advent of Jesus:
Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,
once for our salvation slain;
thousand thousand saints attending
swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Christ the Lord returns to reign.