(Picture by Chris Darley)
God of peace, we acknowledge that we have not sought peace enough.
God of love, we acknowledge that we have not always been loving.
God of justice, we acknowledge that we have closed our eyes to injustice.
God of heaven, we acknowledge that we have let the world around us shape us into its mould and resisted your call on us to be Christlike.
We grieve for the lives lost in war, the soldiers and civilians alike. We honour the courage of the brave, and we lament the failures that sent them to fight.
And in the name of Christ, the Prince of Peace, we commit ourselves to walk in the ways of peace, in thought, word and deed.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the Allies and Germany called a cease-fire, bringing an end to World War I. There was no victor. Both sides simply agreed to stop fighting due to heavy loss of lives on both sides. Thus, began Remembrance Day, also known internationally as Armistice Day.
War remains. Young men and women still enlist; bodies continue to come home in flag- draped coffins. The scarred and broken return, limping, rolling or being carried. Family members grapple with altered lives as they experience the aftermath of trauma.
War carries a high price.
However, when humans are destroyed by the ruthless acts of another, life must be defended. God calls us to stand up for life, to defend life, to protect it at all costs.
Proverbs 24 tells us to: “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.”
As thousands of men and women toil daily in the fight against oppression and useless slaughter, protecting us, we must not forget the One who shed His own blood for our freedom and lives.
As Revelation 12 tells us: Before time as we know it began, war broke out in heaven when Satan proudly rose up to challenge God and was cast out of God’s presence. Since the grand deception leading to disobedience in the garden of Eden, humankind has been born into the war of sin.
Satan refuses to lay down his weapons.
I’ve met many people who are casualties of this war; lives ruined by drink, drugs, gambling, wrong choices. A desperate situation.
But I’ve also met many people who have been touched by Jesus’ gospel of love and grace and joy and peace. Brought to Jesus by God’s foot-soldiers: you and me.
Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18- 19)
I’ve recently read that “11 is the number of supernatural breakthrough and blessing.”
10 miracles were used to free Israel from captivity in Egypt, but the 11th miracle, the parting of the Red Sea, enabled God’s children to move forward to their freedom.
God can supernaturally part the ocean of difficulty you may face. True freedom awaits. May you walk forward in great victory! No matter how war torn you are, no matter how long the enemy has held onto you, today brings new hope.
They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old;
age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning,
we will remember them.
We will remember them.
The Lord’s Prayer
May you today find peace within.
May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing and dance
it is there for each and every one of you.
Modi – A Matter of Habit (www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLesWYPkUqQ)
I Vow to Thee My Country (www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCkGnQ0AZv0)
Rev. Jim Williams