On Remembrance Day our minds are turned to consider the past, review our present and chart the future. The harsh reality is that peace comes at a price.
For all the hardships and pain of war we tend to take our current experience of peace for granted, to our shame. It is hard for us to fully appreciate the cost of peace unless we were there. As we stand on each Remembrance Day we remember the dark cloud that hung over Europe. We contemplate the many lives laid down in order to secure peace and a future. We are moved emotionally and humbled by the self-sacrifice of others: they paid the price, but we experience the benefits. For those who were there and directly involved in war, the personal perspective is set alongside the overall cost, which was immense.
Public gatherings and the memorials in our town squares and church yards are fitting reminders of those who laid down their lives. It was of course Winston Churchill memorably said at the time of the Battle of Britain: “Never in the field of conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few” (20 August 1940). The costly nature of human lives laid down has brought innumerable benefits. The relief of victory is as dramatic as moving from darkness to light.
The Bible speaks about the joyful of future victory. Our spiritual state is described as being like being enveloped by darkness until we come to experience the freedom brought by Jesus Christ: “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1v13-14). God gave himself up as a sacrifice in order to provide rescue from darkness and a transfer into his kingdom of light. The nature of God’s love is seen in Jesus’ death on a cross: it was self-sacrificial. His love provides the model on which to base our lives so as to excel in divine-like love. This involves considering the past sacrifice of Jesus, his life laid down so that we can be forgiven and enjoy peace with God. This means reviewing our present way of life and charting our future course to follow Christ.
Each Sunday we learn what difference this is to make to our lives. Do take the plunge and join us so as to explore what life in his Kingdom means!