Lest we forget….
Today marks one hundred years since the end of the First World War…supposedly the war to end all wars.
As I stood in our small Town Square, like so many others all over our nation, watching wreaths being laid at the war memorial, hearing our Vicar read out the names of all those from our community who have died in conflict, and listening to the Last Post being played by a talented teenage girl, I felt my mind was somehow focused in a way it often is not. This community, these people, mean so much to me; there are so many who serve sacrificially for our town; elderly folk who have given tirelessly and without recognition. Those with young families who juggle the work/life balance. Normally too busy simply in getting through our days, but for a few minutes, on this day, stopping and focusing on a bigger picture.
My life and mind are usually so full of the things of everyday. Clutter. But today we stop and remember. I think this is good to do. The Israelites were often called to remember God’s faithfulness to them; the Passover, rebuilding the temple, stones set down at places of meeting with God. Stories of their history were told around family meal tables, and always God’s part in their redemption was remembered. We watched the film “Darkest Hour” recently; a great film, but nowhere does it mention the National Day of Prayer that was called just before the Dunkirk evacuation and miraculous rescue of so many of our young men. We seem to be increasingly airbrushing God out of our nations’s history.
So today, I found myself crying out to God to have mercy on our nation, on our town. This morning I read from the book of Habakkuk, a cry for mercy. We’ve strayed so far from God’s good laws…have mercy on us, O Lord.
And I’ll continue to pray for these people whom I love; that they, along with me, would stop more often, that our minds would be more clearly focused, and we would ask some big life questions. And that we would put our trust in God who is unchanging and ever faithful.