Newsletter Article – Remembrance Sunday

 

We will remember them…..
This Sunday marks 100 years since the end of the First World War when the Armistice was signed in November 1918, ending 52 months of horrendous conflict. Big Ben sounded in Parliament Square to signal the news as thousands gathered in Westminster and outside Buckingham Palace to celebrate.
The act of remembrance evokes a variety of feelings and emotions. As we remember again those feelings and emotions will once again take a certain and right place. The culture that has today become the norm of the ever updating news story, is in many ways at odds with all that the 11th November represents. The number of news items carried into tomorrow, let alone next week, month, year or century is often so very few. Furthermore it is with sadness that on reflection too many headlines and ‘newsworthy’ reports these days have very little ‘old’ in them, if anything at all.
The act of remembrance is still extremely powerful and moving. The 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month reminds us of a joyous moment. The end of an earthly conflict, on a scale that many today can’t even begin to grasp or seek to get their heads around. Stories and accounts abound of the celebrations that took place
For many – I see myself in this group – it all comes under the guise of ‘history’. It is still something, rightly to learn about and remember – those who gave their lives so we in this country and others like us could be free – something to remember and in no way forget.
It also however brings with it a moment to pause and remember. For many this will be deeply personal. It was almost six years ago that Florence Green, the world’s last surviving First World War veteran, died. That said, the connection for many is still all too real. Whether born during or soon after the First World War, brought up in a time of rationing, living alongside those who served and suffered in the fight for freedom – it is still all too real.
Undoubtedly I’ve heard the question asked “Where was God in all of this?” My mind turns to John chapter 11 and verse 35. Having heard the news of his friend Lazarus’ death, having travelled to Bethany to find him already in the tomb four days, Jesus wept. This is not just a single tear rolling down the cheek.
Each of us will pause and remember in our own way. Each of us faces grief, sadness, pain, loss and suffering through a whole array of different situations and circumstances. Each of us responds to the atrocious things we see and hear reported day in and day our from out unique ‘viewing platform’ in the world. Yet in all of this I believe there is the constant of Jesus’ presence in such moments.
May this be true for us. May His peace indeed pass all understanding and may through the darkness this world so often sadly offers up, we see His light.

Be blessed, Ed Jones