Friday, 7 November 2014

Remembrance Day Sermon

Remembrance Sunday
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”
(Ps 46:1)

It is horrible that today, sadly we take the sacrifice of the many men and women who served in the Forces during the War for granted. We too easily forget the price of the peace we enjoy at home today. I think Remembrance Sunday is one of the most important services in the Christian year, a time when we stop to “remember them”, those who gave so much that we might live and worship in peace and freedom General Sherman, the American Civil War General once said: “War is hell”. How true it is. For whenever we encounter war in our lives we see that it serves only the purpose of sending souls unto God. Since the second world war we need to remember that there have been other conflicts since such as the Korean War, the Falkland War the two gulf Wars in which our brave troops have fought and today although war may not be at or door conflict is still ragging in many countries around the world most notably in the Ukraine and in the Middle East and it is in these times of trouble and strife around the world that we stand and recall the millions of servicemen who gave their lives in both World Wars and the other conflicts so that we might enjoy peace today.

The ability to remember is a wonderful gift that God has given to mankind. Some of our memories are happy and we can recall wonderful experiences but some of our memories are sad and we may weep as we remember those that have served, some of them in our own families. We must also remember that even though the Second World War ended over 70 years ago and the First World War 100 years ago it is important that we remember that many still bear the scars of war today, and it is good for us to remember those who have fought for their country, to support them and to pray for them. Today is a day we stand united as a people and we say “Thank you” to all those who made the sacrifice so that we can stand here today in peace and freedom and for the privilege it has given us to worship, to play and to live in peace and the in the knowledge that those brave men and women died for us, for the lives that we live today. We must never forget those who are still suffering as a result of these wars, the work of the British Legion, who work to alleviate suffering among ex servicemen is indeed a work that we must continue to support and to give generously to, for without our help the great work that they do would not be possible. As we sit here today as the church united these thoughts of sacrifice should bring us back to the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for us all on the battlefield of Gethsemane and ultimately on Calvary. John the Apostle put it well when he said “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13)

Our Saviour Jesus Christ gave his life not only for his friends but also for his enemies. As a God Jesus had no need to experience human suffering or failings but he did for all our sakes and we must at this time today remember this sacrifice as well. For us this day, Remembrance Day is of course the time set aside nationally to reflect, it is a time to remember, a time to mourn those who gave their lives in the First and Second World wars and the all of the conflicts since. For some people it may seem like yesterday and it is to them that we pay deep respect and we moan with them on this day of Remembrance.
I always find Remembrance Day and the services that follow bring a lump to your throat and then the Remembrance Day poem which always moves me:-

"They shall not grow old
as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

And then the closing words which haunt me always and stay with me always:-

“When you go home tell them of us and say for your tomorrow, we gave our today”.

With a final trumpeting of “Reveille” my mind is turned to the heroes of our past, the great men on both sides who fought for a cause that they believe to be just and true and all the heroes of scripture that did the same that gave their lives in the cause of truth and freedom. Then I think of my Lord, my Saviour Jesus and my Father in heaven for he loved us so much that he sent His dearly loved and most precious Son to die for us in what has become the ultimate sacrifice. So for us Latter Day Mormons let us join with the country and will every man in remembering today those that have sacrificed for us to site here today.

Prophet Matthew Gill

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