Rememberance day... Its very hard to remember something that you weren't around for. It's very hard to reflect on a past that although had an impact on the present, never really impacted me directly. Maybe I sound flippant. I'm just writing honest thoughts. I'm so fortunate to see my own thoughts mature in this way. Just three years ago, I didn't really bat an eyelid to 11/11. In fact I remember the horrendous occasion at work, when I pretty much made a mockery of the whole 2mins silence.
Thankfully I've grown up a little since then!
It is hard to remember something that you weren't around for, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't respect the occasion. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't be grateful for those countless millions who gave their lives for freedom and peace. It doesn't mean that you can't reflect on the times during your own life that war and turmoil has occurred. War is unfortunately a constant reminder to me that we are in a struggling mess as a race. It is something that has happened throughout out almost the entire span of our existance, and it is something that will continue to outlive those living on the planet today.
Why does war happen? What causes it? Why is it STILL happening? Why can't we learn from the mistakes of the past? War seems to show that we very much still hold the values of the Kingdom of Man rather than the Kingdom of God/Heaven. It is one of the most evil acts of that humanity has conjured up.
It is often very portrayed that there is a 'good' side and a 'bad' side during a war. Unfortunately our very western thinking tends to lead us to the assumption that we are the 'goodies'. The war in Iraq... This has often been seen as the Western righteousness (good side) vs Eastern evil (bad side).... Or even just as dangerously Christianity vs Islam.
Our leaders may indeed be professing themselves to be Christians or whatever, but they are still human and they still make mistakes. Let's think back to 1st Century palestine. The Jews are waiting for their Messiah who will conquer the Roman opppression and lead Israel to freedom. They foresaw a great political warrior King, a champion superman who would bring the sword to all those who opposed Israel. Never in a million years did the majority of them expect that the Messiah would come as a servant to all. They never expected the Messiah to preach a message of LOVE TO OUR ENEMIES. Not the sword. Never would they have expected the most beautiful moment in history, the rescuing of not just Israel but also the entire world, to come from his hideous death on the cross. That is the God being crowned King of his Kingdom.
That is the climax of all of creation. That is the Kingdom values we too often forget.
Love the Lord your God will all your strength, will all heart, will all your soul. Love your neighbour as you love yourself.