Rector’s Letter November 2016 – “Why should we bother with Remembrance Day?”

JeffersonWhy should we bother with Remembrance Day?”

For some, that is a good question as the war does seem such a long time ago. But for others, the memory and the effects of two world wars, together with Iraq and Afghanistan, can still be felt today.

And, of course, the peace and security that we enjoy in Western Europe is due to the courage and sacrifice of men and women all those years ago.

However, since the end of the Second World War, there has tragically never been a day in which there has not been a conflict somewhere in the world.

So, what is the value in ‘remembering’?

A person once said: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In other words, we ignore the past at our peril, but if that is true for us as citizens, it is also true for us as Christians.

For at the heart of our Christian worship is the invitation to ‘remember’ because at every communion service, we remember how Jesus willingly gave up his life to die in our place, to take the punishment our sins deserved” (Mark 10:45; Romans 3:23-25; 5:1-11).

 

For the Christian faith is rooted in history. It concerns real people and real events, all of which were shaped by the person and power of God. And it is in remembering these things that we can also be challenged to face the future by following in the footsteps of Christ.

Jesus himself said: “The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:13); and “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

So Remembrance Sunday is an important occasion in which we rightly remember those who died so that we might be free.

But it is also an occasion in which Christians can remember the one who is at the centre of our faith, Jesus Christ.

“For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life to save many people” (Mark 10:45).

With best wishes, Charles Jefferson