Sunday, November 13, 2005

Remembrance

Today was one of those rare occasions where I attended my hometown church instead of my regular place of worship. I went to the outdoor section of the Remembrance Sunday service. It was quite moving because the Two minute silence conveniently began on the 1st chime of the clock at 11am, usually it's just a little bit out.

I know that some people have hang ups about Remembrance Sunday because in some places, God is cut out of the picture. However, I feel as Christians we already have insight into the culture of sacrifice... and it is important to give thanks for the spiritual freedom we enjoy eternally and the physical freedoms we enjoy... while they yet endure.

This morning I was watching a clip from "The Last Tommy", where one of the last surviving servicemen from World War I remembered the passing of three of his comrades. For him, Remembrance Day is on September 12th... because that is when his friends were taken and he escaped with an injury. He asked forlornly why they had to die. Some callous minded people might think that after living a long and fruitful life... he might have an answer to that question; but I couldn't help wondering whether he was asking that while reflecting on our world today? Have we let our forefathers down? Have we betrayed the standards that they swore to protect... even unto death?

A part of me sadly would have to answer yes. We as a nation do not treat the freedoms they preserved for us responsibly. Either we abuse them and do things that they would have regarded as abominable, or in the case of our leaders we seek to curb those freedoms.

As a Christian... I do not just believe these men and women lay down their lives for me... I also believe my God lay his life down for me.

Churchill once famously said with regard to the pilots of the Battle of Britain:

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

I say this of Jesus Christ:

"Never in the field of human HISTORY was so much owed by so many to one man."

So I remember the sacrifices of my forefathers and I try to live my life responsibly out of respect for the price they paid for a free Britain. More than this out of remembrance of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, I long to live my life in a manner that pleases him... and only in his living strength can I do that.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning... we will remember them...

...but we will also remember HIM!

Remember the dead... but don't forget the Living One... in whom all have hope of new life and resurrection.

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