Remember Remember!

Remember Remember!

 

November is the month of remembering. After ‘All Souls’ when we remember departed loved ones, we begin the month with ‘All Saints’ Day (1st Nov, Holy Communion 9 am St Oswald’s), thanking God for those people in history who have inspired our walk with Jesus Christ. Then just for fun we “Remember Remember the 5th of November” (challenging our political systems seem to be just as radical at times), before the nation also remembers with gratitude the many men, women and children whose lives were sacrificed in the pursuit of justice, peace and freedom in two world wars and many campaigns since.

 

The Royal British Legion among other organisations provide practical, emotional and financial support to all members of the British Armed Forces both past and present. Through a variety of projects, they offer a range of welfare services to veterans and their families as well as helping the nation come together in acts of remembrance that are as relevant today as they were a hundred years ago.

 

In Filey we will come together to remember with a sense of pride for all that has been achieved in the pursuit of peace and freedom on our behalf. On 10th November at 7pm there is a Remembrance Concert in the Methodist Church. On Saturday 11th at 11am, we gather at the Memorial Gardens for an act of Remembrance and then on Sunday 12th at 9:30am we come together in St Oswald’s for the Annual Service of Remembrance before making our way to Memorial Gardens for 11am.

 

There are countless stories of ordinary people who gave their lives for freedom through the armed forces, as well as civilians. I recently watched former marine Monty Hall present a TV series in which he retraced routes taken by escaping prisoners of war during World War II. He meets survivors and in some cases, reunites former soldiers with people who at great cost to their own safety, helped them escape. Many lost their lives for helping the Allies. Whole families were shot in some cases. For someone like me who has never been in a war or indeed in any of our armed forces, it is difficult to imagine such bravery and selfless action. The bigger picture was of course not for self, but freedom for all and as Hall says, we must never forget.

 

When St Paul wrote “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1) he was not writing about the abolition of slavery but a different kind of freedom. It was based on the will and not the body. ‘Freedom in Christ’ is about the transformation of our minds; to become Christ-like. It is not about ownership of a person through slavery or as the spoils of war, (as can be witnessed in recent reports about so called I.S.), but a celebration of love that is found in Christ. His love for us was to go to the cross in our place. He came that we might have life abundant, which is another way of saying a life in relationship with God the Father.

 

To love God and neighbour calls upon the followers of Christ to be the change we want to see in the world. It even calls us to stand up and I dare say, to fight against the powers of darkness wherever and however it manifests itself. For love beats hate every time, and as Jesus once said; ’If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’

 

Nigel Chapman

Vicar