I am resigned to the fact that although I started off writing at least weekly, life has a way of catching up, and so long as I am able to write approximately monthly I can live with that!
We have reached that time of year when we are remembering: remembering the past and allowing it to inform the future.
I have talked about it to older people and to children; I have still to preach on it, to summarise it for a crowd and to speak to High School students.
If we view forgiveness as being coupled with forgetting - how are we able to move on as we remember?
I have thought about this often over the years, and more so again this year. Forgiveness is bitter sweet; it needs to be given, and it also needs to be received.
The specifics need to be forgotten to allow healing
What we remember is the why & the what
Why was it necessary
Why did we believe it was worth it?
What has been acheived?
What is the outlook for the future?
We in Britain, in the Western World, may be seen as meddlers in other people's problems
As arrogant dictators who think they have all the answers.
We impose our worldview on others and expect them to abandon their culture, their context, their society, for the bright shiny Western Ways - oh how arrogant we can be!!
Yet, what we fight for is what we fought for more than half a century ago - freedom to be ourselves; freedom to make our own choices; freedom to live as we wish.
To move forward we need to leave behind the accusations; forgive and forget - but remember the price that has been paid: lives laid down.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends
The ones who paid that price are ageless, timeless - forever young
We who remain remember the sacrifice and embrace the freedom
Lest we forget:
Take up your quarrel with the foe;
to you from failing hands we throw
the torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.