O God Our Help in Ages past, our Hope for Ages to come, the opening words of our first hymn on Remembrance Sunday, as the parade of veterans processed behind the Holy Word of God. These men, and women, led by Mr. Lamont, and Mr. Stewart, showed me the faces of answered prayers. As we lifted up these words, in praise and petition to God, I thought about those who sang them before us, petitioning God to bring peace, salvation, and the end of conflict. As I watched these men and women process into the sanctuary I saw how they, and those that came before them are the answer to prayer for peace, that through their service, they were the angles of God in our world, in the pursuit of peace
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, we will remember them. These are the words of the Act of Remembrance, words we hear each year as we gather to remember our veterans from conflicts gone by, and conflicts alive in the world today. As I reflect, I think about the covenant we renew each time we recite these words, we are committing to remembering those who fought, and died so that we might have freedom and security in our own land, but it’s more than that, in the Act of Remembrance we are also committing to the continued fight for the renewal of peace in our world, lest the death of those who came before us be in vain.
Remembrance Sunday reminds us to take time out of our lives to not only remember those who fought and died in the many conflicts our world has seen, but also to give thanks to God, who preserves this country in peace and security, it reminds us also to be committed to the pursuit of peace in our time, and forever. I remember a number of years ago writing an article in opposition to the White Poppy movement, and I advocated that the poppy we wear on our chests, do not glorify wars, or the conflict, they do not glorify the victor, nor do they condemn those who lost, but rather they glorify the dead, who gave themselves for our sake, and for the sake of our countries, the poppy also provides a reminder to those who came home, who suffer a pain which is arguably worse than death, and those who survived their lost loved ones, those who have died are free, and walk with God, but those who survive must learn to live again.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, my message today is simple, remember and give thanks to the Lord our God, for the veterans who died, but do the same for those who survived and for their families. Friends, we cannot be content with the pain and conflict in our world, we must be ready to respond, ready to support, and ready to defend onward Christian Soldiers marching as to war, Brothers and Sisters we are treading where the saints have trod, as the old hymn goes. Let us go forward, and fight for the causes of peace, in the name of Christ Jesus, the Prince of Peace.