On every Remembrance Sunday, we gather in God’s presence with the Poppy wreaths and crosses to remember before God with thanksgiving those who died for their country. We also meet to dedicate ourselves to work for peace and justice in the world. Remembrance Day invites us to a solemn commitment not to allow evil to prevail again so that the sacrifices and service of our heroes past may not be in vain. However, the Remembrance Day calls us to remember through the remembering of our past and present pain and loss that there is always the light of hope, love and faith through Jesus Christ.
The common theme in all our scripture readings on Sunday invites us to the theme of telling and rediscovering the story of who we are and meaning of our lives as we recommit ourselves to the principles and personalities in the scripture. We aspire to be an agent of light in a dark world and agent of peace in a world full of conflict, division and war. When we recall our past, we best see the way to a peaceful future. In remembering what happened in the past and why it happened, we find the principles and guidelines of living in peace. Remembrance Day celebration is to guide us against our light becoming darkness again. In history and especially in today’s secular and pagan world, light is becoming darkness more and more through war, sefl-focus, divisions, and terrorists attacks.
On Remembrance Day, we remember how false imperialism and domination led to human carnage, exclusion, racism, holocaust, terror of atomic energy and destruction, and isolation. On Remembrance Day, just as we remember how our light became darkness through war, we are also called to Remember as Christ’s people ‘the exhortation to keep awake, and to provoke each other to keep awake, to that watchfulness which sustains us in active discipleship, lest our own personal light, the light of our hearts and minds, should becomes darkness.’ Remembrance Day summons us to a common commitment and watchfulness for the Day of the Lord, the marriage feast. Remembrance Day invites us to live for peace for the sake of the Prince of Peace, our Saviour, Jesus Christ Who is coming again to restore all things, families of the nations, divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin and war. Hence, the expectation of Christ’s return is central to Christian living and discipleship. In Matthew 25, the purpose of the parable is to warn us against the danger of lapsing and falling away into sin, division, conflict and war.
Remembrance Day summons us to the coming of the Kingdom, a pointer to salvation rather than condemnation or judgement. Just like people who sound religious and peaceful but have not lived out their faith, who have not done God’s will for peaceful co-existence. Jesus says that he will claim he never knew them. At the wedding banquet, some bridesmaids became sleepy and their lamps had gone out and the door was shut against them. Remembrance Day conveys warning about the sign of Jesus’ coming and the end of the age. When we remember those who gave their lives for our peace today, we also remember Jesus Christ who gave his life not only for his friends but his enemies (Jn 3:16).