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Why a Remembrance Service? 

chris tinkerRev Chris Tinker
Rector, St Nicholas’ Church, Bradwell

  

Why a Remembrance Service?

 

This November, as with every November before we will be holding our annual Remembrance Service at 10.50am in the church.  A question that has been raised a few times is why do we have a 'service of Remembrance' rather than simply an 'act of Remembrance'?  Is it simply that most, if not all of those from Bradwell who died in the two World Wars would have attended church and professed a Christian faith, or is there an even stronger reason?
 
Whilst it is good to remember the fallen in a context that they would have been familiar with, I think that there are even stronger reasons for having a service in church. The answer can be found in Psalm 46, which tells us, “God makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire”
 
Remembrance isn't simply about remembering those who have died in conflict, but expressing a longing that conflict will end. The problem is that conflict hasn't ended yet! As human beings we seem incapable of finding lasting peace, but the bible holds out the hope that the God of peace will one day bring an end to all war
 
To simply remember those who have died is an exercise in remembering the past with no hope for the future. The goal of a service of Remembrance is to remember the fallen in the context of approaching God in prayer for future peace and looking forward to the day when all wars will cease
 
The Psalmist goes on, “God says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress”
 
As we gather before God we remember that we are not alone in this world, and though we may feel powerless there is one who is powerful and who offers refuge and protection.  We remember the tragedies of the past and present, but we look forward to a future where war will be no more, where there will be everlasting peace and we will live with our God