Many of the rural communities, as well as the urban centres, have erected a cenotaph in honour of those who laid down their lives in the wars past.
Often I was involved in Memorial Day services when war veterans would display their medals and march to the cenotaph to honour their colleagues and buddies.
On the prairies, the cold north-west wind would almost make outside services impossible, but those who were in the services could not retreat to a warmer surrounding. The dedication of the soldier and the call of duty did not make provisions for physical comfort or ease.
Each year on the 11th of November we pause to remember those who died in the wars since 1914. We also remember the members of families who are yet with us and say, thank you, for the great price that was paid so that we might live in a measure of peace and safety.
According to a recent publication, our Canadian Forces have been on ‘Peacekeeping duty’ for almost four decades. At the present time, a contingent of troops in the Persian Gulf are hoping that the eight-year war between Iraq and Iran will be halted. Our sincere thanks to those in our Armed Forces who are willing to serve in this capacity.
Wars seem so cruel, so senseless, there is such a waste of property and human lives. It is true that material things can be replaced, oftentimes at great cost, but what about the lives that are lost. They cannot be replaced, neither do the wounds of sorrow heal quickly.
It seems we have made so many advances in the scientific field, yet the human heart, whether educated or not, has a deep-rooted problem that is not changed by secular education.
Why are there wars? Where do they start? What can be done to stop them?
The Bible provides some answers in James 4:1-3. Wars are the external result of an inner conflict and struggle within the heart of man. The root cause of war is covetousness and the root cause of covetousness is sin.
Sin and rebellion against God often finds us lashing out against our fellowman. Often people will endeavor to blame God for wars, but few of us heed the Scripture when it says, “Thou shalt not covet.”
The truth of the matter is this. God, who knows the heart of man, sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to this world to die. He gave His own life to redeem and ransom us from sin and the enslavement to the ways of sin.
The greatest battle ever waged was both physical and spiritual. Jesus was willing and able to meet Satan, who really is the author of covetousness, sin, hatred, misery, and rebellion.
Jesus not only lived in our world facing all of the temptations and struggles we face but never once did He succumb to the tempter’s power. He lived righteously and Godly in our world. He died without having sinned or fallen victim to Satan’s power. He was a Good Soldier.
Just like our Nation pauses on November 11th to honour those who gave their lives so that we can continue to live in peace, so the Christian Church fondly remembers the One who died on the centre cross to purchase peace for us. Jesus died in battle, but He rose in Victory on Easter Sunday morning. Today He is alive. He now sits upon the throne of this Universe. He can also rule in the throne room of your heart if you will invite Him to be Lord in your life.
This Jesus is not only a loyal friend and true Saviour in times of peace and good health but will make you a partaker of His divine nature and allow you to enjoy His peace in your heart and life on a day-to-day basis, regardless of the circumstances.
As you remember those who have fallen, allow your thoughts to turn towards Jesus, who also died, but is alive to make intercession for you.
God Bless you.