Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
At the eleventh hour of the eleventh month of 1918 an armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front. The “war to end all wars” was over. Well not quite, for hostilities continued across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire. Each year that armistice is commemorated with a two minute silence as part of a service of remembrance on 11 November, or the Sunday before, in churches and at War memorials up and down the country as well as overseas. We must be clear that the church parades to the War memorials, or the poppies we wear, are not a celebration of war but a mark of respect, a time to remember and to honour those who have died in war. Sunday’s Reading from Mark 12:42-44 recounting the story of the widow’s mite is appropriate to Remembrance Day given that she who had so little gave all she had for others.
In the present troubled world this is also an appropriate time to offer a prayer for peace.
He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Isaiah 2:4 NIV
I pray that that day will come very soon!
All Saints’ Day, Sunday November 1 2015 is a chance for people to remember the saints and martyrs who dedicated or sacrificed their lives to Christianity, but November is also traditionally a time for remembering our departed friends and relatives. We will all have friends and relatives whose passing we mourn and whom we remember particularly at this time. Here is just one such memory. This year at St. Therese of Lisieux R.C. Church a different voice recited those immortal words of Laurence Binyon: “At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.” For as I mentioned earlier dear old Ron who had always spoken them at that service in the past had been called to meet his Maker.
But perhaps the most important remembrance is that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour made the ultimate sacrifice for us and our salvation. Let us remember this sacrifice not only in November, but each and every day and give thanks to Almighty God.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years