Remembrance Sunday and similar moments are times to once again commemorate the ending of World War One and to remember all those who have given or lost their lives in conflicts since.
Remembrance and the Passing of the Years
With each passing year the original events of the two World Wars recede further into history and further out of memory. Already there are no living veterans of the Great War.
The same will sadly be true of the Second World War, and the conflicts of our day, at some point in the future.
This adds much greater meaning to the concept of ‘remembrance’. Our remembering will rely on memories left to us by those generations, rather than any direct memory of the events.
What is Remembrance?
This leads us to ponder what it is we are doing by ‘remembering’. We know we are remembering those affected by conflict and that we are doing so because we want to be inspired to be peacemakers, serving the Prince of Peace in a troubled world.
But what are we doing when we remember?
"Re-membering" is about putting together something that has been broken
Part of the answer lies in the very word itself: ‘re-member’. We are returning something broken to a semblance of togetherness. In other words, when we stop and focus our attention on memories of war and loss today, we are putting something that’s been broken back together.
The horrific shattering caused by violence, the scarred landscapes, broken bodies, torn apart families; all are held together again in our memories, however briefly.
For the restoration is indeed all too brief. The capacity for healing within our silence is imperfect. However, when we re-member today we are not doing so alone.
The whole point of having a special moments dedicated to this, is to bring our "Re-membering" into a Christian setting. That is, we bring our limited attempts to remember to the Lord who can and does make all things whole. His brokenness on the Cross and Resurrection body promises us healing and peace, deeper than any Armistice or two minutes silence.
The Presence of Jesus
So as we gather to remember, may you be blessed by being in the presence of Jesus, whose victory is assured and whose reign is transforming all creation. And hear again those words: ‘do this, in remembrance of me’ which are a source of life giving love that can sustain you in your week ahead.