Today communities and churches across the UK will mark with respect the sacrifices made by millions of service men and women and by countless civilians.
Reactions to this commemoration vary. The dominant feeling may be one of deep sadness for family members taken in their youth; or of thankfulness for sacrifices made; or maybe a conflicted emotional reaction to a complex situation.
But there need be no ambiguity in our response to the ultimate sacrifice – the one that lies at the heart of the Christian faith.
In every Communion, we remember Jesus’ sacrifice upon the cross. Looking back with sorrow, pausing to give thanks, and looking forwards with hope.
Sorrow for sins that made the crucifixion necessary, thankfulness that Jesus has dealt with sin decisively, and hope for Spirit-filled lives that bring peace.
These responses to the cross can help us find meaning in Remembrance Sunday – so long as we don’t remain rooted in the past.
Looking back with sorrow at lives ended prematurely and with thankfulness for the sacrifices made by many – but always looking forwards with hope – determined to be the peacemaker within our spheres of influence.
As Christians we are called to be salt and light – so never forget to be the salt that reminds people of the taste of heaven or the light that points towards the Father of all.