Collect and Readings for Remembrance Sunday, Hebrews 10:11-25, Mark 13:1-8
The Prayer for today
Almighty Father, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of all: govern the hearts and minds of those in authority, and bring the families of the nations, divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin, to be subject to his just and gentle rule; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Today, the nearest Sunday to 11th November, we pause to remember the Armed Forces and their families, from Britain and the Commonwealth together with the emergency services and civilians who have lost their lives as a result of conflict and terrrorism.
This year mark's the Centenary of some of the nations collective Remembrance traditions being introduced, such as the poppy, the two minute silence, Armistice Day, the service for the Unknown Warrior and the march past at the Cenotaph.
It is easy to forget that the stories we hear are all personal and relate to families and communities who were changed and continue to be changed by various ongoing acts of violence. We need to remember that those who serve act to defend democratic freedom and strive for a just and free world for all regardless of race colour, religion, culture or sexuality.
This year also marks 100 years since the formation of the Royal British Legion (RBL). We are all familiar with the poppy sellers but we may not be aware of some of the other work undertaken by the RBL1921 was a time of mass unemployment with 2million people out of a population of 42 million out of work.It was the Great Depression and times were hard. There was no social security to draw upon. At this time the British Legion Unity Relief Fund was established to provide loans for enterprising business start-ups.Following WW2 schemes were set up to teach specialist trades. A famous name who benefitted from this was Sean Connery who trained as a french polisher and whilst working backstage at a theatre found his true calling and as they say the rest is history.
Nowadays the focus is on the transition back to civilian life by helping service personnel build new careers.
As we reflect on these things, we remember that our duty as Christians is to fight for the disadvantaged and for justice for those who have no voice, to show love and compassion for those who are injured and to care for all of God's creation.The image of the cross reminds us that Christ made the ultimate sacrifice that we all might have forgiveness and live as free people.To give up your life for others is the ultimate sacrifice and we should never forget why we are able to live in freedom today.
God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev'd Fiona Robinson