Remembrance Day is important. The liberties and freedoms that we enjoy in this country (including religious freedom) are, at least partly, if not largely, due to the fact that sacrifices have been made on our behalf. Through events and acts of courage that took place many years ago, we continue to enjoy benefits today. Because of this, it is important to take time to “remember them”, in community and church. So…this past Sunday we did that, “lest we forget”.
It is not difficult to find correlative details and similarities between Remembrance Day and certain aspects of the Christian faith. For example, the Lord’s Table. Jesus taught His disciples at the institution of the communion service to “Do this in remembrance…”
Another similarity came to mind one year, when during the Remembrance Day observation, a portion of Winston Churchill’s famous August 20th, 1940 wartime speech was quoted. He stated, “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.” I was reminded of 1 Peter 2:6 which states that Jesus, “…gave Himself a ransom for all…”
Then there is the cenotaph itself. The word cenotaph is derived from two Greek words meaning “empty” and “tomb”; literally, empty tomb. Again the parallel is clear. In Jerusalem, there is an empty tomb…the place where Jesus body was laid following His crucifixion.
It is not difficult to find war heroes either; there were many. One of them was Lt. Gen. Sir William Dobbie , who served as governor general of Malta during WWII. Things looked very grim for Malta. The opposing Italian forces were superior in numbers, experience, armaments and military capability. In spite of this Malta never fell to their enemies.
On the day that Italy declared war upon Malta Dobbie stated, “The decision of His Majesty’s Government is to fight until our enemies are defeated…hard times lie ahead of us, but however hard they may be, I know that the courage and determination of all ranks will not falter and that with God’s help we will maintain the security of this fortress. I therefore call upon all officers and other ranks humbly to seek God’s help and then in reliance upon Him to do their duty unflinchingly.”
What may not be so well-known is that his statement was based upon a verse of Scripture that this dedicated Christian had memorized and was claiming as a promise for God’s protection and help. The passage is found in Psalm 46:1, and says, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”
I want to take this opportunity to express gratitude for those who willingly sacrificed all that they had so that we may enjoy all that we have.