Two months ago I learned that the Dickens Heath Parish Council was hosting a Service of Remembrance with one of the local Anglican ministers leading the service. I immediately offered my help, the participation of Dickens Heath Village Church, and the Sea Cadets (I am chaplain for the local unit; see my post from 5 November). We were able to make a positive contribution with all three, and there were about 100 in attendance at this outdoor service.
For my part, I read Matthew 5.1-12, and the verse that really stuck with me in the context of this service was verse nine, which reads ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.’ One of the issues we all experience, personally, locally, regionally, and globally is conflict. And don’t we know the pain on each of these levels when conflict escalates and isn’t resolved? Some argue that warfare is a failure to properly deal with unresolved conflict. Others will argue for ‘just war’ when evil people perpetrate injustice and exercise corrupted power on the weak and defenseless.
Today, I am thankful for those people who are able to bring peaceful resolution to conflict at whatever level it may exist. I am likewise thankful for those who are commissioned to protect the weak and defenseless and suffer loss a result. As the Ode to Remembrance says, ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.
And so we did today.