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Ruth’s article in the November Diary October 28, 2018

Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.
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November brings the annual remembrance of all those who have died in the conflicts and wars of the last century. But this year especially, we remember the end of the first World War. The eleventh hour of the eleventh month in 1918 must have brought a whirlwind of emotions. Relief that those who had survived would be coming home, realisation of the enormous loss of life which would mark a generation for years to come, resolve to care for those who would be permanently scarred by mental and physical injury; and remembrance of those who would not return. Young men whose names still stand on war memorials across the British Isles.

Year by year we remember those on our own village war memorials, those who died in the 1st World War and who have died in subsequent conflicts; lives  lost in battles for peace and against oppression.

Every November- solemn remembrance must give way to hope for the future. In Westminster Abbey- the tomb of the unknown soldier is always surrounded with poppies. But at the end of November 11th 2018 it will be surrounded with flowers as a symbol of hope for the future.

To remember is important. Through our lives we remember the events which have shaped each of us; we remember the griefs and the joys, those who have loved us and been part of our lives. But to remember is also to re-member- to put back together.

We can never put back together the broken lives, the broken bodies of those soldiers of the first world war; though hospitals and the love of families did the best they could. They hoped for a new world where war would never rear its ugly head again- and like us were disillusioned.

But we can begin to re-member a future.  This year we face the uncertainties of Brexit and our place alongside Europe.  We have to reimagine a future which will be characterised by a new way of building relationships, new ways of ensuring peace.

Throughout the Bible the people of God have imagined a new future, a kingdom where the hungry are fed, where the poor are welcomed in, and where lasting peace gives all a hope for the future.

Jeremiah, one of the great prophets has encouraging words for our future:

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. “

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