Today we remember those who have given their lives during the world’s darkest times. While our thoughts and prayers are very much directed towards a world that still knows conflict, we also remember our history and those who gave their lives during the two world wars and the poignancy of the passing of exactly 100 years today since the ceasefire order that drew the First World War to a close on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.
We do not seek to glorify war, but we do want to honour those who have laid down their lives in a genuine attempt to bring peace and stability. That’s what we will be doing at 11am, as we join with the nation in observing two minutes silence as a mark of our respect and gratitude.
The importance of sacrifice holds a pivotal place in our life and faith in Christ: because of his great and unique sacrificial act we have acceptance and relationship with God. Through Christ’s death we are liberated and, while we do not fully understand why it had to be that way, we can know eternal security with God because he chose to pay the full price of our wrongdoing. I’m struck again by the words Jesus uttered during his last Passover meal, shared with the disciples before his sacrifice. He repeats the same phrase as he compares the broken bread to the imminent giving of his own body and the wine to the shedding of his blood, saying, ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’ (1 Corinthians 11:24,25) The sacrifice of Jesus is only truly effective when it is remembered and applied; it is then that it challenges and changes us!