We may not always get the tone of Remembrance Day right but there are three good reasons why we should continue to honour all who lost their lives in wartime.
1. Those who died often had no choice. In past wars many were forced to join the armed forces. Others volunteered, caught up in the jingoism and imperialism of their day. Not to do so risked being made a social outcast. In the First World War 163 men from this parish lost their lives. We should not forget the loss and pain felt by this church and community at that time.
2. War is an extreme example of the same conflict experienced in all our lives - the squabbles with neighbours and colleagues, people pushing for what they want at the expense of others. The seed of war is sin, the selfishness that mars our relationships. Today we remember all victims of war. Doing so might just help us better follow the command of Jesus, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.”
3. The final reason we remember is because as Christians we are a remembering people. Week after week we meet together to celebrate the Eucharist, to remember an act of God where he gave of himself to bring reconciliation. This weekly act of remembrance feeds us with the conviction and power to start afresh, and live lives that are peaceful, gracious and self-giving. Our annual Remembrance Day service reminds us of the consequences when we fail.