Welcome Stephen's Letter - October

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Letter for November: the month to remember.


Men’s Breakfast at Maple Restaurant at Woodlawn on Sturdy 8th November. Contact Stephen to book or use list at church doors.
Remembrance Sunday on Sunday 9 November
Bible Society Service Sunday 23rd November

Now, regarding Remembrance Sunday . . . .

None of us is probably old enough now to recall the mood of excitement as the Armistice was called when the Great War ended on 11/11 1918. It was, unlike others before it, the war to end all wars. And yet we no longer call that conflict the Great War, as our forebears did. We call it the First World War.

Because it wasn’t the end of all wars, only the first of two world wars. Just over twenty years passed until the nations of Europe, then USA and Japan were drawn into a series of conflicts which spanned the globe. The Second World War is still fresh in the minds of our older generation, although you now need to be almost 80 years of age to recall the start of that conflict.

Would people never learn?
When the great act of reconciliation took place on the Cross where Jesus died, I am sure many of his followers soon came to think that this death was the end of one thing, and the start of something new. Yet wars continued, sin abounded, sickness prevailed, divisions were sustained.

Would people never learn?
As we gather in our churches and town squares to lay wreaths to remember the dead of past conflicts and to pray for the peace of the world, let us not lose hope simply because the world has not yet learned to live in peace. As the Cross was the first step, so one armistice does not suffice.

Instead, let us work to reduce the tensions between ourselves and our family members, between ourselves and our neighbours, between our community and those who differ from us, from our country and the powers that seek to dominate and demean the citizens of their nations. From such small steps huge progress can be made. Who would have thought that the troubled people of Northern Ireland would be summoned to other areas of conflict around the world to help them find a way to peace?

The Cross was our armistice; the journey from the cross into our communities involves huge risks, and demands courageous hearts. Ask yourself, “What can I do to pave the way to peace in my small corner?”