8th November 2020
REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICE
I hope you and yours are all safe and well on this Remembrance Sunday.
Today is the day when we remember the horrors of war – the lives lost and the loved ones who didn’t return home and give thanks for those who defend us and keep us safe
So, let us begin our service of Remembrance –
Let us join together in prayer –
we come this day to remember and learn – to remember the lessons of the past:
the cost of war, the price of peace, the scope of human depravity, the extent of human self sacrifice.
Help us to learn those lessons – to live and work for peace, to fight only what is evil and corrupt.
To serve and not to count the cost, to give our all in the cause of a better world.
we come to remember all you have done -your creative acts, your mighty deeds throughout history – your dealings with your people, your gift of Christ, your love experienced daily in our lives.
As we remember and give thanks for all those who made the final sacrifice that we might enjoy freedom.
Remind us too of the sacrifice that your own son made, that we might have life and in all it’s fullness.
Remind us that you know the pain of losing a son at the hands of corrupt and evil men.
And we give you thanks that because of your great love for us – you accepted that pain and loss – for our sakes.
Forgive us that so often – and so easily we forget.
We fail to remember your transforming power; we fail to remember you in the good times as well as the bad; we fail to count our many blessings, and to recognise your hand at work in every moment of our lives.
through all things you remember us – help us to remember you!
Remind us of all we owe you – lest we forget.
Hear our prayer Lord, and hear us we pray together – the family prayer – the Lord’s prayer –
Our Father, who is in heaven,
bless-ed be your name;
your kingdom come;
your will be done;
May it be on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily needs.
And help us to forgive others,
As you forgive us.
Keep us from falling in to temptation;
and deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
the power and all the glory,
Our reading for today is taken from Pauls letter to the early Church in Rome and it reminds us that God is always faithful to those who are faithful to Him .
Let’s read God’s word together –
Hear the Word of God ~
Romans 8:31-39 from the New International Version
More Than Conquerors
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?33
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?
It is God who justifies.
34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also mediating for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 For it is written:~
“For your sake we face death all day long;
are we to be considered as sheep to be slaughtered?”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, nothing –
nothing ! will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This is the Word of the Lord – thanks be to God
I wonder – how is your memory?
Is it quite good and you remember all the important things you have to do?
Or are you pretty hopeless at remembering things?
I suppose some things are not so important and so it’s not a big deal if you forget them.
But there are things – things that are so it’s important that we must not forget.
This time of year is a time for remembering –
Remember, remember the 5th of November!
And more importantly – Remembrance or Armistice day.
Today – a day which we set aside to give our thanks, pay our respects and Remember those who paid the ultimate price for the safety and freedom of others.
“They died – that we may live” is a true saying.
It’s an emotional day for many – remembering family, friends, good pals and others who went out but didn’t make it back – so sad.
Of course, our fond memories are just not limited to one day a year – but this is the day we, as a Nation, stop, take time and give thanks for all that they mean to us – and all they have done for us.
And it’s right that we do that.
We are not glorifying war – but remembering those who fell and are now silent – not just in the 2 great wars but in the many wars and conflicts since.
Lives lost – hearts broken.
Yes, it’s important that we remember.
But it’s also important that we learn from it all – that it wasn’t all in vain.
Someone once asked the question – “What is the purpose of War?”
I suppose one answer might be- “To bring about Peace”
And yet here we are – 2020 and still men, women and children are dying – still, young ones are being orphaned..
And I wonder if God is watching us – shaking His head and saying to Himself – “When will they ever learn ? – did nothing Jesus say sink in ??”!!
And it raises serious moral issues for us – as Christians trying to follow God’s way – trying to shed his light – in a dark and troubled world.
For example –
How can we – ‘love our enemies’ – when his name is ……TALIBAN OR TERRORIST………..
How can we – ‘pray for those who hurt us’ – when it’s our friends and families that are in danger – and how can we – ‘turn the other cheek’ ??
Well the answer – is…… “with great difficulty ! – and with Prayer”……
The very first verse of the New Testament reading puts that very question to us – “what then shall we say about all this !?”
And it always amazes me – although it shouldn’t – how relevant God’s word – the Bible – is to our everyday lives..
Paul puts the question – and then proceeds to give us the answer –when he says – in effect – “ When you have God with you – do not fear those who are against you!”
These few words tell us that God is the ultimate source of all comfort – He is in control.
And if we have Him – Paul is saying – then our future is not in the hands of “wicked and evil men” – or at the whim of the changing fortunes of this world –
our destiny’s are in the hands of a loving, caring, understanding God – we are in safe hands – God’s hands……. And it doesn’t get any safer than that !!
I was reading the story of a World War 1 soldier who’s notebook was found among the mud at a battle scene.
He had written that he and his comrades had been told that today was the day of the ‘big push’ – they were about to climb out of the trenches and charge across ‘no man’s land’ and attack the enemy lines –
In his journal for that last day he had written this quotation from the bible – “We are indeed – like ‘lambs to the slaughter.’
And then he wrote –– “the Chaplain read from the good book to us this morning” – “ we are more than conquers, through Him who loves us.”
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life – neither angels or demons – neither the present nor the future – nor any powers – neither height nor depth – nor anything else in all creation – will be able to separate us from the love of God – that is in Christ Jesus – our Lord.”
“This gives us great comfort” – the young soldier wrote – “for we know that whatever happens – we will be safe – one way or another – in the hands of the Lord” –
and then with the words – “nothing – not even death – can separate us from the love of God” ringing in his ears – he went over the top into a hail of bullets…
Safe in life – safe in Death..
I pray that on this day of Remembrance – you will remember that the God of love, loves you very much – and that there’s nothing in this life – or the next – nothing in all creation – which can separate you from the love of God – which is in Jesus Christ our lord.
How comforting, how reassuring –
And I pray that our great God of Peace will lead us to work for peace in our world – in our communities and in our lives – and may He fill your hearts with Hope and Peace all the days of your life – and beyond – and in Jesus precious name.
And may God bless this preaching of his Holy Word – and may all the glory and the praise – be His.
Please relax – stand if you are able – or remain as you are more comfortable as we come to our –
‘act of remembrance’ –
– ‘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,
All – we will remember them.
Let us take 1 minutes of silent remembrance ~
TIME OF SILENCE -…….. (1 Minute)……. –
After the 1 minute’s silence ~
And when you go home – tell them of us and say –
For your tomorrow – we gave our today…
Please be seated…
Let us Pray –
Dear Lord, as we come to you in all your majesty, to praise and glorify your name – we look to your son – Jesus Christ – to show us the true meaning of compassion, understanding and how to live in peace and harmony with all mankind.
But we are ashamed to confess that deep within us, we harbour feelings of resentment, dislike and intolerance of those who are not of our own kind –
Forgive us Lord – pardon and deliver us from these thoughts – for they are against your will.
Keep us in life eternal, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, through Jesus Christ.
Today we especially remember those who lived and died in the service of others…. those who perished at sea, on land or in the air….. so that others might have freedom from evil and oppression……… we owe them so much and commend them to you….
We remember those who came back and carry the scars of war, who lost sight, limbs or reason : and those who lost their faith in that great time of trial.
Bless those who have enduring memories of war – and bless our young people that they might never have such memories, never know such horrors – never see the depths of cruelty to which men and women can sink.
Grant that their generation – and generations to follow – may be faithful soldiers and servants of Jesus Christ – the one combats and overcomes all evil.
Grant that the people of the world may do your will, live in your spirit, through Jesus Christ in whom none are dead, but are alive forever.
Hear our prayer, dear Lord , and hear too – our silent prayers as we sit for a few moments, each with our own thoughts – each with our own prayers…………….take a few moments to think of someone you know that you would like top pray for today ……. Whisper their name – the Lord hears your words…………………………
Be with them all dear Lord, for we bring them to you in the name of the Prince of Peace – Jesus Christ, your son, our Saviour.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
I’d like to leave you with a “Poem for Remembrance”
It’s a sad poem – yet very relevant in our world today – and in our own lives ~
It’s called –
“The Inquisitive mind of a Child”
Why are they selling Poppies mummy
Selling poppies in town today?
The poppies child, are flowers of love,
For the men who marched away.
But why have they chosen a poppy, mummy
Why not a beautiful Rose?
Because, my child, men fought and died,
In the fields where the poppies grow.
But why are the poppies so red, mummy
Why are the poppies so red?
Red is the colour of blood, my child
The blood our soldiers shed.
But the heart of the poppy if black mummy,
Why does it have to be black?
Black, my child, is the symbol of grief.
For the men who never came back.
But why, mummy are you crying so?
Your tears are giving you pain.
My tears are my fears for you , my child,
For the world is forgetting again…
Mmmm food for thought for us all.
And now – go in love- go in peace –
Go in the strength of the Lord –
Remembering those who sacrificed their lives
That we might have life – and in all it’s fullness –
And may the blessing of Almighty God, Father Son and Holy Spirit – be with you , may He be with your families, friends and and all whom you love – and ought to love…
This day and for evermore.
Take care and May God Bless you
And your loved ones.
And we close our service with that lovely hymn
“Make me a channel of your of peace”
The Prayer of St Francis.
(Audio Version only)
And Please – keep safe
Be sure and look out for the Midweek ‘Meditation’ which is Posted every Wednesday Morning.
And can I remind those of you who aren’t too far away from Kilmacolm, that our Murray Chapel is currently opened for a time of personal Peace and Prayer, each day from Monday to Saturday from 11am – 1pm.
“Be still and know that I am God”
Psalm 46 : 10