Remembrance Sunday 2021 – We must never forget
Today we make an act of commemoration but not celebration; we hold in our prayers those who have died and suffered in two world wars, in countless regional conflicts since, and in peace-keeping duties across the world. We mourn their loss and their suffering; the failure of politics and diplomacy that led to their sacrifice on the altar of human pride, obstinacy and indifference, and we also confess the darkness in our own hearts that all too often gives way to anger and seeks retribution. We pray that humanity may, before it is too late, consign war to the sins of history, and instead walk the ways of conciliation and peace.
Lent is a pilgrimage, a journey into, perhaps, previously uncharted territory and not always the most comfortable of places. But in all the talk of repentance during Lent, we should also remember that the word in its Greek and Hebrew roots means much more than simply feeling sorry.
It was G.K Chesterton who wrote: The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult, and left untried.
The prophets tell us that it is the duty of the people of God to care about and be advocates for those who are poor and powerless – and Jesus’ first concern was for those who were the most vulnerable and had no voice.
We like to form a pattern of the world, a mental map of how things work, why they happen, an explanation of the way the world works, and why. We tend to seek explanations for new things according to the old ways.
Generally, it can serve us well.
It makes our world feel more constant, more predictable, less random and unstable – it also cuts down on mental processing time – we can assume certain constants, and concentrate on what is changing before our eyes.