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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

6 November 2019: Tom Cooper, Reader, St Mary’s Church, Buriton

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Last year’s Remembrance Day was particularly significant, as it marked the centenary of the close of the ‘War to end all Wars’ – as the survivors of the slaughter hoped it would be. History is always constructed in hindsight, and of course we now know only too well that war did not end, and that in fact war has continued unceasingly ever since in one part of the world or other. On this day we now remember so many more men, women and children who have perished in the conflicts of the last hundred years.

But this should not make us give up hope that the peace and love brought to us through Jesus Christ can win through against everything that hatred, violence and oppression can impose. While we rightly remember with gratitude the self-sacrifice of so many in the cause of the freedoms we enjoy, we also give thanks for the coming of peace. As Christians, we know that God is the God of love and peace, not of war and destruction – even though much blood has been and continues to be cruelly spilt in His name.

Psalm 57, set by the Book of Common Prayer as one of the morning psalms for the 11th day of the month, could be the prayer of all those who continue to live under the dark shadow of war. The NRSV modern translation reads:

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
until the destroying storms pass by.

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