Sunday, November 08, 2020

Remembrance Sunday

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

Today is Remembrance Sunday and throughout the UK the now familiar ceremony of the two minutes silence is being observed just as it is every year. 

This year perhaps it has been a little less well attended due to circumstances, but there is still the call to remember as people wear poppies in support of those who have served in armed conflict.

As we reflect upon past conflicts it is true to say that such conflicts often bring out the best and the worst in people. There are many tales which tell of terrible atrocities and others which speak of great heroism. One such heroic tale that has emerged from the Second Word War is that of two young men called Bob and Jack. 

Bob and Jack came from Liverpool, from working class families. They had gone to school together and, as they grew up, they were inseparable. When war was declared on Germany in 1939, these two young lads both signed up and, having been posted into the same regiment, found themselves on the Expeditionary Force to France. 

In the days that followed these two men experienced things that were unforgettable – things that young men who were barely out of their teens should never experience. Finally, they found themselves in the mass retreat at Dunkirk. As the two men, along with thousands of other troops, fled before the might of the German guns they both came under heavy fire. A nearby exploding shell injured both men - Jack was hit by shrapnel, but Bob sustained a serious head injury. In spite of his wounds Jack picked up his friend and carried him on his shoulders down to the beach and out to a waiting boat. Both men eventually found themselves back in England where they both received treatment for their injuries. Bob eventually recovered but, sadly, Jack died from his wounds. 

When Bob was told of what his friend had done for him all he could say was, “He was the best friend a man could ever have. I will never forget him.” In the years that followed, on every Remembrance Sunday Bob would stand with many others and remember. As the Last Post sounded every year, Bob would weep unashamedly as he remembered one man in particular, and would willingly tell anyone who was ready to listen of his great loss of a true friend. His tribute was simple but plain. “I will never forget him - he gave his life for me.”

Today on Remembrance Sunday we, too, may pause to remember. To many it is simply remembering conflicts that took place so many years ago that they are just facts in history, but there are many to whom the remembrance is sharp and bitter.  Many – even in recent years – have seen a loved one go off to war and never return. To these the memory is sharp and lasting, but there are some, like Bob, to whom the memory is even deeper than that. To them the memory is of a sacrifice that was given personally.

Jesus, as He prepared to go to the cross, told His followers to remember.  As He took bread and wine, He could show them what He was going to go through for them and for all who would become His followers. His words were simple - “Do this in remembrance of Me!”  

To many people today Calvary is just a fact in history and it happened so long ago that it is just a thought or a story.  To others Jesus may be a great historical figure – perhaps Someone to be emulated or used as a model for living, but to those who know Him personally, who have made Him Saviour and Lord it is personal.  Calvary is not a historical fact, nor was it a defeat.  To the true Christian it is personal and the memory is real.

Like Bob we can say, “I will never forget Him – He gave His life for me!”

Messages with Meaning (08/11/20)
Written by Stephen Treseder for 542Day

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