A hundred years since the declaration of that great war, intended to end all wars!
We do well to remember. How can we help but be touched as we hear of so many fathers, sons and sweet hearts becoming ‘cannon fodder’? So many who set out in high hope, thinking they were about to engage in some great adventure.
But sadly it was not the end, for warfare still continues in various parts of the globe. And as I listened to the moving tributes and remembrances I thought of others who had fallen, stirred to set out on high adventure, knowing they too were involved in warfare, not for Queen and Country, but as part of the Lord’s army, engaged in driving back darkness and fear and making known the name of Jesus, the light of the world.
We lost gifted young men in the pioneering days of our missionary enterprise in Papua New Guinea, mothers and babies dying too because families were willing to live in these remote places. We still hear of tragedy among the skilled and daring pilots who fly in these and other dangerous places.
In this season of remembrance, God is reminding me that we all are in his army, engaged in warfare against the powers of evil. I trust I am still a missionary, though I no longer travel overseas, climb mountains or learn foreign languages.
We must be on our guard, whatever our age or circumstances. There is armour we must wear, and a sword we must learn to use against the enemy.
How moving to see the poppies filling the moat of the Tower of London, and the petals falling, each representative of a life so sadly lost, that we might live in freedom.
We do well to remember, but there is another occasion for remembrance, when we eat bread and drink wine together. Jesus asked us to do this in remembrance of the life he was about to pour out. It is sad if the Communion service becomes a formality as we partake week by week, but equally sad if it allowed to be pushed aside as an afterthought.
Jesus asked us to break the bread and drink the wine that we might never ever forget how great the price he paid for our deliverance from evil, and how wonderful the victory he won over sin and death and the grave.
Some may find a life of adventure easier to face than a quieter life style, but a desk job might be equally important in winning a war. Let’s not think our lives unimportant if we are not called to do exploits. What is important is winning the war, so whether it is a martyr’s death or the long steady tramp to glory, we must fix our eyes on Jesus, and keep our spiritual armour on for, yes, the battle is the Lord’s and if we are his, we are in his triumphal procession, part of his army.