Reflection for an unusual Remembrance Sunday


Church buildings are once again closed for public worship, with limited opening for Private Prayer. I will continue to send a short reflection, for those of you who must continue to ‘shield’. It will be based on the Sunday readings.


SUNDAY 8 November 2020

Wisdom of Solomon chapter 6 verses 12 to 16

12 Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her,
and is found by those who seek her. 
13 She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. 
14 One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for she will be found sitting at the gate. 
15 To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding,
and one who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, 
16 because she goes about seeking those worthy of her,
and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought. 


Reflection for an unusual Remembrance Sunday

In our passage today, the writer describes and commends ‘Wisdom’. Here, Wisdom is personified as a gracious young woman, quietly making herself available to those who seek after her with sincerity and discernment.


On this very strange Remembrance Weekend, as we honour those who have died in war, the topic of ‘Wisdom’ is one we could usefully reflect on. In the midst of a world pandemic, in the aftermath of one of the most acrimonious and divisive US elections ever seen, with the details of our leaving of the European Union still uncertain, and as we struggle to live our lives amongst all the necessary regulations that constrain us we need to pay attention more than ever to the need for deep, God-given Wisdom.


Remembrance Sunday can be a time to look back the past and consider what we might learn from it. Here are some things I invite you to consider: -

Many of those who over the years have lost their lives in war were called on to lead others in difficult and dangerous situations. Think of the young men who faced the horrific barrage of guns in the First World War and displayed unbelievable courage in rescuing their fallen comrades. Think of those young airmen of the Second World War, flying out from airfields like Biggin Hill, just a few miles away from us here. Their life expectancy was counted in weeks, not months, yet when the warning came that enemy aircraft were approaching they did not hesitate to take to the skies to protect ordinary people. Think of those servicemen who struggled through France to the beaches of Dunkirk, and those who commanded the flotilla of small craft to mount a huge rescue mission.  Think of those who commanded the ships of the Merchant Navy to bring much needed supplies against fearful opposition.


There were other people of courage too. Think of those who worked to keep the nation housed and fed, the teachers trying to keep life as normal as possible for those in their care, the shopkeepers who struggled with the limitations of rationing to treat everyone with fairness, think of housewives struggling to make the rations stretch, and those who took in evacuees and refugee Jews fleeing the death camps. Think of those who worked all day, and then at night served as ARP Wardens, or in the Home Guard, serving their communities. They too are honoured this weekend. And yes, let us be honest about the past, there were times when people acted in less honourable ways, the black-marketeers, those who tried to avoid responsibility, those who complained…


In the tribulations that face us in our own era, we need people of deep faith and courage and commitment still, and I believe God will raise those people up.  It is the calling for each one of us, whatever difficulties we face to stand for that which we know to be right and honourable and wise, amongst the lies and distortions and hatreds. Our Lord Jesus Christ, when facing trials of many kinds, acted with grace, wisdom, forgiveness and courage.  May he strengthen us to do the same.

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Page last updated: 7th November 2020 5:48 PM