Yesterday we celebrated the November Commemoration of those who have fallen in the wars. It was Remembrance Day.
As a young boy growing up in Malta in the 1950s, I remember seeing the ruins of buildings as a result of bombings during World War II.
Down the road from our house, about 200 metres, there was a commonwealth cemetery. Buried there were many ANZACS from World War I, and some from World War II.
Malta is on the frontier of Europe. The capital City, Valetta, was one of the most fortified cities on earth until 150 years ago. All around are fortifications reminding one of the wars between the Ottoman Empire and European forces that are now part of legend.
Of more recent times, any glorification of war has been diminished when we have been able to see the agony and terrible misery and evil that was can bring, on our television sets.
So, on the 11 November we are not about glorifying war.
War results in the death, wounding, and much misery for countless millions of human beings.
Sadly, when we deal with tyrants like Adolf Hitler and others, war can become unavoidable.
On Remembrance Day we remember, with profound gratitude and respect, all those who have given their lives in the defence of others, in war.
So many young lives were cut short!
So many suffered permanent injuries!
So many have carried terrible trauma!
So many, many lives affected.
Those who do not know history, do not learn from the past.
Our prayer needs to be ‘war no more’!
However, there is a dark side to human nature! There are those who will inflict terrible things on others.
We have great potential for good, and great potential for evil.
As Christians we work for peace, we work for justice. There can be no peace without justice.
We are committed to being light of the world, instruments of peace.
Today we honour and remember the victims of war. We remember them with love.
We pray that they are safely home with God in the Communion of Saints.