At the heart of Christianity is belief in the value of self-emptying, of sacrificial living. In God's grace, through abandonment of self-interest, life is transformed, redeemed. The individual life is transformed into something better; communal, corporate life is transformed into something better.
At the core of this faith lies a particular sacrifice, one that Christian faith places above all others: the self-emptying, self-sacrificial giving up of his life by Jesus of Nazareth. A sacrifice that sees death from human sin redeemed in new life from divine grace.
We seek to find a shadow of that self-sacrifice in the lives, and deaths, of all who have suffered or died in war. And we seek to find there a shadow of that redemption that is rooted in sacrificial, self-offering love. A life lost, or for ever marked, in the self-sacrifice that war demands of people everywhere is not a life wasted.
This Remembrance Day, all we can do is give thanks for that sacrifice, remember its cost, and pray that human society figures out ways to be less flawed, to live beside one another living justly, peacefully, in accordance with God's will for us. That would be the greatest prize, the redemption, that those sacrificed lives could buy.
Reverend John Routh