A Future Promise For Remembrance Sunday

By Fin Sheridan

Today is Remembrance Sunday – a day where the UK remembers those who have given their lives to secure and protect our freedom. As time passes, and we become more detached from the realities of the World Wars, it becomes harder and harder to fully appreciate the tremendous sacrifice of the men and women who lost their lives during those tragic times.

Whilst Hollywood continues to try and capture the experience, it still falls short. I recently watched Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s latest offering about the evacuation of the beach of Dunkirk in 1940. As I sat there, in comfy leather seats, the 16mx22m screen towering in front of me, to maximise viewing pleasure, I couldn’t help but wonder – what would I do? The film did an excellent job of conveying the sheer sense of hopeless exhaustion, the desperate struggle for survival and the incredible sacrifice of so many ordinary people.

Whatever your feelings about the teachings of Christianity and the military, the concept of ‘laying down your life’ is not an unfamiliar one to Christians. Sacrifice, service, selflessness – these are Christ’s qualities. The sense of duty of the millions who lost their lives in the fight against evil is a concept many of us simply cannot comprehend.

“Sacrifice, service, selflessness – these are Christ’s qualities.”

Remembrance Sunday gives us an opportunity, not just to look back, but to look forward. As we gratefully remember the silencing of the guns and the end of wars, we still live in a time of turmoil and conflict. There are still wars and rumours of wars. Yet for Christians, we look forward to a day seen by the prophet Isaiah:

He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

What will accomplish this day? Well, as we turn our eyes towards Christmas, this verse will be read in countless churches across the UK:

Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.

Jesus, the child who is born, is also the Prince of Peace. At his coming, the tools and clothes are war become useless. There will be no more need for sacrifice because His rule will be a ‘government of peace’, a peace that will never end. That’s a promise truly worth remembering.

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