Published by Tim Cockell on Mon, 4 Nov 2019 08:09

Last year over 600 people attended our Remembrance Sunday commemorations, with over 150 more waiting outside around the car park and War Memorial for the service to finish and the wreaths to be laid.

This was in one sense, no surprise.  It was, after all, the 100th Anniversary of the end of the Great War.  It was good to see so many people gathered to remember in silence; remembering a conflict so long ago that has passed from living memory into the stuff of history books and scratchy speeded up black and white film.  For the preceding 4 years we had been reminded on our televisions screens and in our papers of the events in Northern France and Belgium a hundred years before.  Even with the passage of so much time, it was as if we were in among the events once more.  This gave us, almost, a real-time appreciation of how events unfolded over those 4 years of bloody conflict in the trenches.  

Who knows how many there will be at church this year? But one thing is important, I'm sure, and that is that we stop remembering these things at our peril.  We remember, not for some nationalistic fervour, nor to pat ourselves on the back for having won, nor to revel in some former time when we might consider that Britain was truly great.  Rather, we remember because we don't want to make the same mistakes of the past that led to war and to the loss of human life on such an enormous scale as it did in both World Wars.

Sadly, wars still rage across our world; people are still dying every single day, are made refugees, are maimed and wounded and lives are changed and damaged for ever.

Our churches, while providing both a space and a frame-work to remember and commemorate Remembrance events also preaches a Gospel, Good News, which is based on the life of Jesus Christ. It has a message of peace, of love and at its heart, the message of reconciliation, both of ourselves to one another but also to God.

Whatever the past, whatever the hurts, we are called to be people who bring about that reconciliation which is at the very heart of God and is shown to us most clearly in the cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  And it is to him we look during this Season of Remembrance.

With every blessing

Tim

 

Categories Word from the Clergy