100 years ago the First World War ended, and a new world began. The example and experience of those who died and of those who lived through the war shaped the world we live in today.
In November each year there are magazine articles and television programmes giving us the testimony of those who fought in World War I and in the wars which followed throughout this century. The marking of the centenary this year will allow many people to reflect on the sacrifices of previous generations and of those still living with the consequences of war.
On November 11, Remembrance Sunday, there will be civic parades and events in our cities, our towns and smallest villages to commemorate those involved in the conflict. People will also come to church. Many churches are decorated with poppies and our hymns and prayers mark the day. We pray for all those who have died through war or acts of violence in defence of our country: that they will rest in peace with God and that may we never forget their sacrifice. It is a chance to pray together for peace throughout the world.
Why not invite someone to church this Remembrance Sunday: to share our faith that death is not the end and that love survives even the grave.
We often look for an opportunity to talk about our faith or invite someone to church. Sometimes people are not ready to join our prayers but may be open to another chance to be involved in our Christian life.
Wisbech Ladies Guild plan to make 100 hand-made poppies to display in church this Remembrance Sunday and are inviting people to help with these.
Often a chat about what is happening in the news can give an opening for an invitation. Maybe exploring family history or talking about the local parades may give you the opportunity to say: The way I will be marking Remembrance Sunday is by going to church. Would you like to join me?
O God, merciful and strong,
who crush wars and cast down the proud,
be pleased to banish violence swiftly from our midst
and to wipe away all tears,
so that we may all truly deserve to be called your children.
Pictured above is a display of knitted poppies falling from the sky in the memorial chapel at St John’s Catholic Cathedral in Norwich.