Reflections on Remembrance Day: Love is more than words; it’s more than a feeling; more than doing what’s easy and convenient. Love means getting down in the hold with someone to give them what they really need. It means getting dirty and being inconvenienced and it sometimes means “laying down your life for a friend” (John 15:13).
When we celebrate Remembrance Day, at churches and in arenas and at cenotaphs across our land, we remember that others laid down their lives so that we might be able to live with the freedom that we now enjoy. But the price was steep. In Churchill’s finely tuned words it was paid “in blood, sweat and tears”.
As Canadians, we are so blessed to live in a peaceful country. But we have not been shielded from the horrors of war; while, for some of us, our view comes from media – often a report of a soldier lost in some far away land; for others it is the terror that wracks a mother, a wife, a husband, a child, whose loved one is a life time away, wearing our flag – fighting in a place so far away as to be unreal, and sometimes losing a life for ideals that although bigger than any one individual, may bring small consolation to those attending a grave.
While in a peaceful and peace loving nation such as Canada, we are not immune from paying a price for our commitment to building a better world. Today, our hearts are with the families of fallen soldiers, and we pledge our support to those who return home, sometimes fractured in body in soul.
It is important that we remember that hate can build when power is found by suppressing the rights of any part of our population. In many ways, the battle lines have shifted – from more narrowly focused battles between countries, to conflicts between ideologies whose borders shift and change. A war between those whose hearts and views are open enough to wish more for all people, and those who would strip away rights, subjugate women, use rape as a tool of war and control, hold a power not freely given from a people, but stolen used for self-aggrandizement, for ego, for wealth.
Remembrance Day is a day to reflect on our shared values and individual histories, and on what we can learn from the past. Today, we ask each other to quietly reflect on what this day means to you, to honour those with the courage to engage when justice demands it, and most of all, to thoughtfully reflect on the role you can play in building a more just and peaceful world.
Prayer: Lord God of hosts, you clothed us your servant Martin with the spirit of sacrifice and set us in the midst of your Church as a guide in the path of holiness. Give us grace that we may be clothed with your righteousness in the dwellings of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sunday Reflection: The gospel today continues a long line of reminders in Luke that we do not place value in the correct places in our earthly lives. The Sadducees were an aristocratic Jewish sect during Jesus’ time, often contrasted with the Pharisees. Historians describe the Sadducees as often being rude to their peers. As the passage indicates, they did not believe in the resurrection of the body or of the soul. They lay a trap for Jesus by invoking the Torah’s requirement that if a man should die before having children, one of his brothers should marry his wife. It was hoped that the woman would have a son so that the man’s family, and property holdings, could continue.
Yet Jesus deftly avoids the trap the Sadducees set for him by challenging the grounds for the question. Jesus reminds us that heaven will not be like earth. We are not able to comprehend just how different heaven will be from our earthly existence. We will not take the things we value with us into the afterlife. It reinforces Luke’s earlier messages about the importance of sharing our earthly abundance with the poor and suffering.
- How do you picture God’s kingdom in heaven? How does it compare to your earthly life?
- What parts of your earthly life do you value too highly? (Sermon that Works)