Remembrance

Today’s reading is Joshua 3Open Link in New Window & Joshua 4:1-9Open Link in New Window

Here is today’s reflection by Carmen

  1. Today we are looking at the theme of remembrance.

    To start off with I would like you to turn to the person sitting next to you and tell each other one happy memory.

    It could be a recent memory, such as something you enjoyed doing during this last week, or a memory from further back.

  2. It is so special to hear so many happy memories, all of us will have some sad memories, too. Point out that we can have a mixture of happy and sad memories.

    Memories are a link from the past that can influence our futures.


  3. Do you know what this slide shows and what the pile of stones means?

    It’s a cairn. A cairn is a man-made pile of stones that marks a particular spot.
    For example, a cairn could indicate the summit of a mountain or the location of a specific event. When people climb to the top of a mountain, they may add their own stone to the cairn there.

  4. There is a passage in the Bible about a time when the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years following their escape from Egypt under the leadership of Moses.
    Now led by Joshua, they approached the land in which they would eventually live.
    However, in front of them was the Jordan River, which they would need to cross before moving forward.

    We see in the passage, priests carried Ark of the Covenant into the river and the water from upstream stopped flowing, enabling the people to cross the river on dry ground. After everyone had crossed, Joshua gave the people an order.

    Joshua chose 12 men. He called them together and told them, ‘Go to the middle of the riverbed where the Ark is, and pick up a large rock. Carry it on your shoulder to our camp. There are 12 of you, so there will be one rock for each tribe.

    Some day, your children will ask, “Why are these rocks here?” Then you can tell them how the water stopped flowing when the chest was being carried across the river.

    These rocks will always remind our people of what happened here today.’ The men followed the instructions that God had given Joshua. They picked up 12 rocks, one for each tribe, and carried them to the camp, where they put them down.

  5. Joshua wanted the people to remember this moment, as a reminder of all God had done for them. Stones were something strong and permanent that would remind future generations of what had happened.
  6. November is a good time to talk about memories because 11 November is Remembrance Day. This is the day when we remember all the people who fought in the First and Second World Wars, and in more recent wars and conflicts.

    Many people died and were injured, or lived with the consequences of war. Many still live in war-stricken areas today.

  7. We wear poppies at this time of year as a sign of remembrance. “lest we forget”

Time for reflection

So, we all have good and bad memories. Many people have bad memories of wars and battles that have been fought.

However, alongside sad memories are the happy memories that brave soldiers’ actions helped to bring an end to many Wars. Their bravery leads to us being able to live safely.

John Maxwell Edmonds was a poet who was alive at the time of the First World War. He is most famous as the author of the words that appear on many war monuments, which are as follows.

When you go home, tell them of us and say

For your tomorrows, these gave their today.

Challenge

I would like us to go into this week and spend some time with God thinking about the things he has done in our lives. Where he was there in the blessing and there carrying you in the tough or sad times. Remind yourselves of Gods faithfulness in your lives this week.

It’s easy to remember all of the good times and block out the bad, but sometimes it can be really helpful to take time to sit in the sadness with God and remember his faithfulness in all of it.

Prayer

Dear God,
Thank you for all the memories we have talked about today.
At this time of year, help us to remember with gratitude all those who have given their lives so that we can live in peace and safety.
We pray today for all those caught in war-torn areas of the world, that you would bring your peace to them.
We pray that as we go into this week you would remind us of your faithfulness in our lives.
Amen.

There will be a video version of the service.

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