Remembrance

Todays reading is Ecclesiastes 3:1-15Open Link in New Window

Here is today’s reflection by Gaby.

When I was at secondary school our very tall, austere head teacher started every year with this reading and her reflections on it. She wasn’t a Christian but seemed struck by this. She was right to be struck as this is a powerful passage that can brings tears to our eyes, sometimes joy, sometimes grief. How you feel as you read it will define which bit stands out as most salient to you.

Today we reflect on and remember those who have died in service of our country during all wars. The wars we remember most are ones where the fallen, those who died gave their lives to fight against an evil force that threatened the tenants of our free society. There are still people who die for freedom on a daily basis, many are involved in invisible wars, fighting against evil dictators, cruel regimes like in North Korea and prejudice and intolerance where people die or are punished because they don’t hold the majority religious, political or economic view.

There is a time for everything under the sun but that doesn’t mean we need to like it or accept it. If our country and many others had not stood against the oppression of Poland then the Second World War may never have happened.

I recently was in the Peak District in a small town and the number of names of people who had died from that town was enormous. There were up to 6 people with the same surname, families ripped apart for a greater good, that is why when you enter the town there is a Shadow picture of a soldier and the words… Lest we forget.

This caused me to think. Lest we forget what… lest we forget their lives given for us, lest we forget their families traumatised by their loss, lest we forget the evils of war, lest we forget that oppression and cruelty must cease, lest we forget who we want to be.

My grandfather was a Captain in the army in the Second World War. He didn’t talk about the war much, only in regretful terms of the horrors experienced and how his and many other lives were dramatically changed in direction by the effects of the war. He had been training as a lawyer, he became a farmer instead to provide food for the country and they played their part in repopulating the country with 2 girls and 2 boys.

My Grandad persevered until the end with his high morals, his high standards and expectation of his own behaviour. Even at the end of his life he kept a scrupulously tidy bedroom, he would sometimes have to spend an hour putting on his socks but he didn’t give up. He remained in his own home, running the farm, doing the accounts up until a week before he died.

Lest I forget the person I want to be.

What type of person do I want to be? I want to be like the people of the war generation, Scrupulously honest.

You can laugh at me for returning your pen but it’s not mine.

Unswervingly just and seeking out the causes of others, particularly the vulnerable.

Passionately loving even when under pressure.

Dazzlingly pure.

My Grandad told a tale when I was younger and he told a tale of how a lovely young lady was pushed into his room by his army mates and he asked her to leave because he was having none of that. We too have to push the lovely ladies and gentlemen that we aren’t married to out of our bedrooms, out of our computers and out of our minds.

Lest we forget the people we want to be.

I know the type of person I want to be. I want to be like my Grandad who served his country, then he was on the parish council for years. They dedicated a bench to him in the parish for all his hard work.

Traditional morals and values.

It’s time for us to wage a war on ourselves, on our sin. We have let our guard down and been bashed around by our enemy the devil who wants to destroy everything and everyone.

Who is the enemy in this world?

It’s not Kim Yong Un, Myra Hindley, Trump or anyone else that is the enemy. It is the devil who wants to wage war on all of us and destroy the human race. We underestimate the war maker, the one who wants to destroy our very souls. We need to fight against the right enemy.

Today on Remembrance day we remember the dead because they fought against the forces of evil that sought to overcome the world and so we could have a free society. But just because we aren’t in a war now, don’t be fooled there is no battle to fight. It’s time to rise up against the enemy.

We need to decide the people we want to be, lest we forget those who went before us.

There will be a video version of the service.

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