Saturday, 10 November 2018

Why do we give? A sermon for Remembrance Sunday

“Out of her poverty, she has put in everything she had…” (Mark 12:44)
Every widow; every orphan; every amputee; every one suffering from PTSD; every shell-shocked mind.
Every private; every corporal; every able seaman; every flight engineer…

Each, put in their two pennies.
Everything they had
Everything they were
Everything they lost
Given – for hope.

The human desire to strive for justice; to protect the vulnerable; to stand up for the oppressed can be summed up in the Psalmist’s verses:
Happy are those … whose hope is in the Lord their God; who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
 The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow (Ps 146: 5,6, 7-9)

For so many in the Great War a simple faith in God was core to everything; the words of the bible brought comfort; the very fact that each serviceman was given a bible tells us that.
The cost; the true price of war – cannot be measured in pounds and pennies, but in lives – shortened or changed – given in trust.
Trusting that the loss would not be futile
Trusting that the forfeit would be worth it
Trusting, that those who sent them out into peril knew what they were doing.
Trusting that their actions would fulfil God’s vision: justice for the oppressed.

Those young men who marched off to war in 1914 had no inkling of what would happen next; but all believed that it would be over by Christmas; they they’d be back home in no time… but as weeks turned to months; and then months turned to years, they, and their loved ones discovered it was not to be so simple.
Jesus, sat down and watched… the people; praying; offering; worshipping. Jesus watched, and Jesus knew the true cost to each donor.
And I am sure; that in 1914, Jesus watched the people: praying; marching; offering; worshipping.
Jesus watched, and Jesus knew the true cost to each donor. Every life cut short; every life changed through terrible injury; every home with empty chairs for those who would not return.
We now, in 2018. One hundred years after the guns fell silent, need to continue to remember the true cost of war.
There are few now who remember the Second War; and none remain from the Great War.

But, conflict continues. And British service personnel are deployed all around the world.
The Baltics…
Today, as we remember 100 years ago; we must also remember all who continue to serve our country; all who continue to answer the call to serve, to uphold justice; to restore peace; to bring safety in an unsafe world..
As we remember, may we be thankful, grateful, knowing that because of them, our lives are more secure.

Jesus knows all about sacrifice; it is through his sacrifice that we have hope for tomorrow.
Why do we give?
We give to honour the fallen; to honour each other; to honour God
We give to remember.
Remembrance Display Earlston Church 2018

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