Remembrance

For me, delivering the sermon at the Service of Remembrance is just about the most difficult moment of the year. As I stand in the pulpit, there are so many expectations of me, of what I will say, out there in the congregation.

 

Some of the regular church community, those who are in church week in, week out, want to hear a distinctly Christ focused message put across. Some of the non-regulars, there on just this one day each year, want my focus to be on people with not much mention made of religion.

 

Some people want me to say that when we go to war we are absolutely right to do so, and that every human sacrifice is worthwhile.  Others want me to say that war is at best an ambiguous thing, and that all lives lost are lost needlessly.

 

The bottom line is that I can't please everyone.  Every year some people go away  grateful for the words I have spoken; whilst others go away grumbling.  Falling short of some people's expectations is inevitable: I can't please everyone, nor should I try.

 

My task in the Remembrance Sunday sermon is this: to reflect on the experience of human beings, both noble and flawed, saintly and sinful, as they engage in what should be the last resort of warfare;  to recognise the sadness that war brings to the God who loves us all; and to look to a more just and peaceful future.  

 

I hope I've achieved that in this year's Remembrance Day sermon.  Check out what you think by going to the sermon page!   

 

John