The Vicar writes……..
This year we commemorate the beginning of the First World War and the centre-piece for the month of November is Remembrance Sunday: a day when churches across the country stop and pause for an act of remembrance to remember those who so bravely gave up their lives for the sake of the people in this country and for the security of generations to come. This year will be no exception as we make a special point of commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of the First World War.
As we remember the Great War - the war that was supposed to end all wars - we are also mindful that the horrors of the First World War have tragically been replayed time and time again throughout the last century and are still alive today, particularly in the Middle East with the rise of Islamic State and the brutality of that conflict.
Humankind has advanced in mind boggling ways, but lasting peace is sadly not one of them. And so as we remember, so we must also pray: for peace, for harmony, for forgiveness and for reconciliation.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13) The great sacrifice of those who served in the First World War and in wars since serves as a poignant reminder of what costly love ultimately looks like. And this love is most fully demonstrated in the great sacrifice of Jesus, who gave up his own life, for the sake of the whole world.
It is because of Jesus’ death that we as Christians can hold on to the hope that there will eventually be a day when there will be lasting peace, where “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Rev 21: 4). This reality has begun in the costly death of Jesus’ on the cross, and will reach its full conclusion with his glorious coming again. In the meantime we live in an era of hope and sorrow, suffering and expectation as we continue to live in a world afflicted by sin and evil waiting for Christ’s return. But while we wait, there is also great opportunity: opportunity to share Christ’s peace with those around us, and to pray for his peace throughout the world.
May your November be a time of both remembering and peace-making as you bring Christ’s peace to the space you inhabit and pray for his peace in a world troubled with conflict.
St John the Baptist
Serving God and the Community of Leytonstone for 180 years