Mothers’ Union Devotion 8th November Remembrance Sunday

This year’s Remembrance Sunday is so different from those that have gone before, and I expect many of you are struggling with the emotions that come with such a break in tradition. As we promise each year – ‘We will remember them’ and then today we seem to be going back on that promise. Such a sense of alienation from our usual traditions is a reflection of what our predecessors have found themselves confronted with in the past.

People who have left home over the years to fight in conflicts abroad would have found themselves in a totally alien world. No matter how much training they had before being shipped out to their particular war zone, nothing could have prepared them for the reality and the horror of what was to come. Different languages, different weather, different landscapes, different food and drink.

This was all before they came under fire. Once the fighting began a whole new set of alien sights, sound and sensations would have bombarded them. The sound of heavy artillery, the screams of the injured, the roar of overhead plane engines, the thunder of the tanks. The sight of burnt out buildings, the great gashes of trenches in the landscape, the bodies of fallen comrades. The hunger, the cold, the mud, the fear, the loneliness, the fatigue all making individuals feel completely divorced from their previous lives. This dislocation is then taken up another step when they are asked to behave in a way completely outside their moral code – To kill other people.

So why did people agree to be put through this ordeal. They did it for the good of others. For loved ones, friends and strangers alike. Their nations were under threat and they rose to the challenge, accepting all the horrors that came with taking such a stance. And it is for this sacrifice that we are grateful and so commit to remember them on Remembrance Sunday. A lockdown friendly way that has been suggested is to go out at 11 o’clock on Sunday morning with your poppy and stand in silence for two minutes on your doorstep, so that you may publicly declare that you will remember them.

While we take this time to give thanks to God for the sacrifice of those prepared to endure these horrors for our future, we should also pray for healing in our world today. For the healing of the nations where political conflict has erupted into violence. For the healing of the nations which suffer from poverty due to our inability to share. For the healing of the nations where disease is rife, particularly for those infected with Covid-19. For the healing of the nations through the sharing of Christ’s love across the whole of creation.

It does not matter that we too are living in alien times because in whatever way we can – We Will Remember Them

With all my love and Prayers

Revd Sandra