Go back to normal view
Remembrance Sunday is a solemn occasion. At this time we bring to mind all those who gave their lives in the Great Wars but also in any other conflict. As a child, I remember attending my first Remembrance Sunday service. ‘The war’ seemed in the long and distance past then, though World War II had only been over for about 24 years.
In the last 20 years, we have seen a real effort to ensure that we pass on an understanding of the price that was paid by others for our freedom. As newer conflicts have hit the headlines we are honoured to welcome those who have served in them and members of the families of those who still do. It is a privilege also to provide an opportunity to mourn the recent dead from service in Afghanistan and the Middle East.
It was during the war years that many lost their faith. ‘As a Christian, I believe that blaming God for the awfulness of war lands the source of those conflicts on the wrong shoulders. It is human frailty and weakness that brings such things to pass; it is our sinful and selfish nature and a desire for power and control which leads to a need to defend and protect.
Christians believe that we have a God who loves and saves. He has not abandoned us to our own fate, but instead sent his son Jesus into the world that all who know him might be saved. In the midst of the darkest moments he offers us hope. For those who turn to him death is not the end: there is the promise of eternal life in a world that has been perfected. The Bible reminds us, ‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore.’ (Revelation 21.4)
God also longs for us to learn from our mistakes. In the words of the poet Rudyard Kipling. ‘Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget!’