On the 12th of November at 10.45am we will gather as a community in the Parish Church to remember those who have died in war. Some in our Parish remember family members and friends lost in battle or conflict more than half a century ago. Some remember loved ones lost more recently on a peace keeping mission or the Northern Ireland conflict. All are still hugely loved and deeply missed.
Last year Wales High School held a moving act of remembrance as they celebrated the centenary commemorations of the battle of the Somme on the 1st of July. As a church we are pleased to display the wonderful artwork of Wales Primary School and they too gathered to remember the fallen during their assembly in church on Friday.
We honour them and all those from this parish who gave their lives for the greater good. Whilst we also recall the horror, and the sacrifice of war.
I’d like to share a story with you. It’s called Tusk Tusk by David McKee
Once upon a time long long ago all the elephants in the world were black or white. They loved all creatures … But they hated each other, And each kept to their own side of the jungle.
One day the black elephants decided to kill all the white elephants. And the white ones decided ti kill the black. The peace loving elephants from each side went to live deep in the darkest jungle. They were never seen again.
A battle began. It went on and on and on. Until all the elephants were asleep. For years no elephants were seen. Then one day the grandchildren of the peace loving elephants came out of the the jungle. They were grey. Since then the elephants have lived in peace.
But some of the grey elephants noticed that they had different shaped ears to some of the others. The End.
On Remembrance Sunday we share our memories, thoughts and reflections. We give thanks for the selfless sacrifice of many. Whilst confessing the failings of a sinful human race
We pray for peace on earth and an end to the madness & waste of war. In the bible the prophet Micah predicts terrible times of war for the people of Israel.
But then he goes on with this amazing vision – the day when peace will replace warfare and swords will be made into ploughs.
Of course ultimate peace and justice and joy will come only at the end of time in the Kingdom of God. But that doesn’t mean that we just sit and wait – it is never too soon to start cultivating the oasis of peace in the desert of our war mongering world.
In the words of Mahatma Ghandi, “Peace is not something that you wish for. It is something that you make, something that you do, something that you are, something that you give away.” If we truly want to honour those who died in war, we can do no better than by building a more peaceful loving world for their children and ours. So let us be peace to one another.
Peace begins in our families, our communities our nation.
Peace is our gift.
The Prayer of St Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.