Senior minister Mat Yeo reflects on Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, as we approach the 100-year anniversary of the ceasefire on the Western Front.
From the Archbishop’s Presidential Address, Synod 2018:
“On 11 November this year, we shall celebrate one hundred years since the end of hostilities in World War I. In the war to end all wars, over 10 million military personnel lost their lives in pursuit of freedom, and about 8 million civilians were killed, let alone another 23 million wounded military personnel. Our own country’s casualties included the death of 60,000 Australians and 150,000 wounded. Sadly, such freedom from tyranny was to last barely twenty years before another horrific war was unleashed upon the world…
“While wars and rumours of wars will continue until Christ returns, we should be ever thankful for the peace and security that we enjoy in our land. Many Christians around the world struggle in the face of limited resources, lack of freedom, political oppression and religious persecution. Yet they rejoice in the knowledge that God will bring an end to all suffering, an end to deprivation, disease and death. They know the true freedom that sets them free and which will last forever.”
We live in a very different time, don’t we? Yes, this might be the age of terrorism, but the wars on the scale that we saw last century seem a long time past. But we remember. And we should remember!
We remember in the hope that we won’t repeat the same mistakes. (Unfortunately, sinful human nature is against us on this one!)
We remember and we are thankful. Thankful for the peace we enjoy now and for those who gave up so much, some even their lives, that we might be at peace. Thank you especially to those St Aidan’s members, past and present, who were part of ending conflict.
And as Christians, we remember. We remember that wars have always and will always mark human history, sadly. Peace is short lived at best. But we remember that eternal peace has been achieved by our Saviour, on the Calvary hill 2000 years ago. The war has been won! The power of sin and death has been broken! And while we still await that final sound of war to cease, we know it most certainly will.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:1, 8
On Sunday November 11, at all our services we will be remembering and pausing and praying. Please join us.