“Lest we forget”: memory and hope

“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Col 1:19-20)

Why are we here today? To remember? Lest we forget… What do we want to remember? We all probably have different memories. Some events we may want to remember, some we may want to forget, but can’t.

What are the things we remember today? Horrors of many wars? Waged by almost every generation of Australians. Blood spilled, lives sacrificed, lives crippled, lives lost? Too many of them.

What do we remember? Maybe the extent of evil that dwells in humanity – that has lead to death of thousands and millions? I am afraid that we all tend to forget these things too quickly. The history shows it again and again.

What do we remember? Maybe courage, self-sacrifice, camaraderie, generosity, purpose and meaning found in service to something much greater than ourselves? Service to our families, to our country.

What do we remember? Victories won? Wars that finally ended? Solders that returned home? Alive. To have families, to rebuild what was destroyed, to enjoy the peace that cost so much to so many.

Perhaps we are here to remember all of these and many others things. We are blessed to live in time of peace, at least in our country. And we can’t be grateful enough for this peace. History tells that it doesn’t last forever.

However, do we really live in peace? Yes, there is no war among us or in our country. But do we really live in peace? Don’t we long for more peace in our daily lives? Sometimes it seems that you battle against the whole world.

Don’t we long for more peace in our relationships? Sometimes our closest hurt us more that any enemy could ever do. Do you ever have this sense of deep longing within you, longing for something we can’t fully grasp or describe, longing for being truly at home, truly at peace.

I am talking about peace as a state of deep joy, of deep satisfaction, of blessedness that fills you and flows over. Knowing and feeling with your whole being that finally you are at home, at peace, that everything is as it is truly supposed to be.

There was a great warrior once. Unlike anyone else. His innocent blood was shed. He made a sacrifice, unlike anything in the history of humanity. He gave Himself up to be tortured and killed in place of His friends, to bring them true peace.

And with His death there was a victory won. The greatest victory ever. This victory was won over all enemies of humanity, including our ultimate enemy – death. By the blood of His cross He attained peace on earth and in heaven.

His name was Jesus from Nazareth. And you are His friends. He sacrificed Himself for you. Now He has attained true peace for every one of you, and He awaits for you to come and finally receive it, to finally be at home.

Whether we remember wars and great sacrificies, whether we remember victories and peace attained, we always need to remember the greatest of sacrificies, and the greatest of victories.

For by that victory we all have this hope for true peace, when we will be trully at home and where everything will be as it is supposed to be. Let us remember, lest we forget. And the peace of God that surpasses all our thoughts keep your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ.

Amen.

 

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