We have those things we remember in our heads - so I’m thinking here times tables, conversational French vocabulary or the elements of the periodic tables. All such things that we tried to commit to memory as we revised for formal exams!
But we also remember things with our hearts; where our emotional intelligence is stretched and developed.
We remember anniversaries of both shared happy moments but also shared times of sadness. We enjoy bringing a earlier happy event into our present experience again, because shared happy experiences with family and friends can increase our sense of belonging and they make us feel safe and secure.
We also remember times of loss; the date of a loved one’s passing or a shared time of communal desolation at war, death and conflict on Remembrance Sunday.
It is appropriate and helpful when we don’t rush away from remembering something as painful and awful, such as the shadow that war casts. Remembrance Sunday allows us to collectively thank and respect those who gave their lives to enable our freedom. It encourages us to learn from past mistakes, and we honour those who died in war as we work for peace. We continue to pray for those currently serving and working to maintain peace in our times.
In addition, the Christian perspective of the Remembrance service enables us to reframe pain, suffering and death through the lens of Jesus, his death and resurrection to life. Before Jesus laid down his life for our freedom, he said to his friends, with whom he was sharing a meal, “take eat, this is my body. Do this in remembrance of me.” We celebrate the victory of God over death and destruction in the person of his Son Jesus!
This year we have to find new ways of creating space for collective remembrance, but please join us for our zoom Remembrance service this Sunday. Let us ask God to help us discover new ways of being people of peace, as we love our neighbour as ourselves.