November is often a difficult month, Lord,
For many people in the northern hemisphere
Summer is well and truly over
And the best of the fall colours are also finished
Daylight Savings Time has ended
And the early sunrise
Doesn’t really make up
For the darkening evenings

In November we remember
Long summer days
And gentle summer nights
And we miss them
These days we are more likely
To see clouds instead of sunshine
And to feel rain and wind
As the leaves are blown from the trees

In November we remember
Those who have fought for us
And while we honour them
We pray that our children
Will not know war as our parents did
Or even as some of us did
For we know that
War is not the answer

This year November is election month
For many of us
And whatever the outcome
There will be disappointment
There will be hurt feelings
There will be rifts between friends
And even in families
For we all believe that we are correct

But in some places November
Is the month of thanksgiving
When people remember all the things
For which they are thankful
So let us focus on this for today
Let us think about everything we have
And figure out some way
To share it with others

In November we remember
Those who have little for which
They can be thankful
Whose lives are a constant struggle
We also remember
Those who have much
But who are not thankful
As they want even more

As we move through this month
Let us take the time to look around us
And see what brings us joy
See what makes us thankful
See what moves us to compassion
Let us use our eyes in new ways
And let us also look with our hearts
To see even more

Katherine Burgess was one of the contributors to A Child Laughs: Prayers of Justice and Hope. She also co-wrote a book of daily prayers with Neal Mathers. She is a second-career minister in the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and serves two congregations in Québec. She is trying to figure out some way to make Advent and Christmas services meaningful even if her congregations are not gathering at this time.

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