Reflection from The Festival Of Remembrance, November 11th, 2023

I cannot imagine the horror of those living in Israel, Palestine Ukraine, or other places where war and oppression rage today.

I cannot imagine what it’s like to watch planes and missiles thunder overhead, grateful you’ve avoided them; yet knowing others are about to be injured or killed by their impact.

I’m grateful, I cannot imagine, for I’ve not had to live in such fear.

I’m grateful beyond words.

But some here will have such memories. Those who’ve lived or served in war. Relatives of those who went to fight and protect; not knowing if and when their loved ones would return safely. Those protecting us now…

We live in relative peace because of the bravery of those who gave so much. But ‘just’ remembering doesn’t change anything. Poppies and silences are precious, gatherings like this, to collectively honour their sacrifice are important but they can’t change the past.

So remembering also needs to shape how we look forward. We remember, to learn, to shape a better tomorrow. To recognise the humanity in those we disagree with. To see how we might be an agent for change. However young or old we are.

We may not have the ability to prevent international horrors, but I believe, we are not helpless or hopeless in the face of pain and tragedy. We can make a difference, we can become champions for peace and reconciliation. We can pray…

But many might ask, so where is God in all of this? He is, I believe, right in the middle of it. Watching in anguish at the way humanity is bent on self-destruction. Bent on abusing the free will we were given, whenever we choose the way of war or hatred instead of seeking peace and justice.

God’s nature is shown in each act of bravery, and compassion. God’s image, in the face of each person caught up in the horror. God who, I believe, hears each cry, each prayer. Who loves us so much, that He lived among us to show us His character and purposes in Jesus Christ. God who yearns for us to show and share His unconditional love to all people, To offer, as He does, amazing grace, and to hold onto the hope that it is through the power of love, that hate will be conquered.

Imagine if the whole world embraced that idea. There would be an end of hatred, conflict and oppression.

We might not be able to influence international horrors, but we can influence where we are. And slowly, surely one by one, perhaps we can change our world.

2 thoughts on “Reflection from The Festival Of Remembrance, November 11th, 2023”

  1. I appreciate this reflection, Bryony. If prefigures a world in which healing and transformation through the power of individual faithfulness through sacrifice can defeat hate and the selfishness of war by love! Thank you.


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