This morning, at 11am, is an historic moment. We mark exactly 100 years from when the ‘guns fell silent’ on the Western Front, following the Armistice agreement that ended fighting in World War l. Over 886,000 UK troops were killed in that awful war out of a total military death toll of some 9.7 million, aside from some 10 million civilian deaths. What terrible loss! Yet we do give thanks for all those who laid down their lives for our freedom.
There has been some debate as to the form our Remembrance will take in future years, particularly as there are now no military survivors from World War l. However, tragically, the so-called ‘war to end all wars’ was just the prelude to considerable further conflict. Our own Remembrance now sadly includes all those who have subsequently died in World War ll, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan etc etc, irrespective of warfare elsewhere in the world.
As we continue to pray for peace worldwide and seek to be peacemakers, we are, of course, called to a lifetime of Remembrance of our Saviour: “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David” (2 Timothy 1v8). We are engaged in constant and continual spiritual warfare, but the glorious reality is that our Remembrance is of a resurrected Saviour who defeated death on our behalf to give us eternal freedom and life each day. We are confident, therefore, that “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8v32).
Peace and Grace