Why should we remember?

Lest we forget

May I suggest to you that if we don’t take the time to remember, we won’t.

Remember; Lest we forget

Life gets in the way so we use many ways to help us remember. For example, we move a ring to another finger, we circle dates on calendars, we make photo albums and take selfies, we write things down, we have anniversaries, birthdays, mother’s day and father’s days. These are all means of remembering.

The ability to remember is a wonderful gift that God has given to us. At this time of year, many of us choose to wear poppies as another way of remembering.

During the First World War, the countryside of Belgium and Northern France was blasted, bombed and fought over repeatedly. The previously beautiful landscapes turned to mud; bleak and barren scenes where little or nothing could grow except the bright red poppy. These resilient flowers flourished in the middle of so much chaos and destruction, growing in their tens of thousands.

Wearing a poppy is a way of remembering those who gave their lives but it means more than that; it is a means of reminding us that even in the darkest times there is hope.

We remember the price millions of service personnel paid; we remember because to forget the impact of their lives and sacrifice is for them to have died in vain.

The former Bishop of Birmingham, Bishop J. L. Wilson, who was a Japanese prisoner of war in the Second World War recommended three thoughts for us all to carry in our hearts on Remembrance Day.

  • That we should be thankful for the sacrifice of others
  • That we should be dedicated to working for peace and justice in the world
  • That we should be sorry for human sin and evil

I recall the words of Jesus when He said: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

However, He also says in John 13:34: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Pause for a moment to reflect…

Is God asking us to risk our lives or is He simply asking us on an hourly, day by day basis to live our lives in such a way that we are not purely focussed on what we want or need? What impact might we each have if we lived our lives this way?

Love as I have loved you – it’s a tall order – but an order it is. Given to us by a Commanding Officer who was not afraid to lead by example.

Jesus simply says look at my example of love for others and then and get on with living life this way. You might never be called to give up your life but you are called to serve.


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