Today is a day of remembrance in England. Everyone is wearing a paper red poppy on their chest to visibly show their recognition of what has gone before that makes a difference today. In contrast to the American equivalent, it is a day filled with memories touched with sadness. The recognition of sacrifices made with human life so that principles, family, and country would live.
The focus appears primarily on World War I; with the monstrous battles, that each consumed thousands and thousands of lives. Grandchildren who are now adults lead the ceremonies to lay fresh flowers and wreaths on the memorials that dot every village. New generations learn the stories of valor and sacrifice and for a moment pause to reflect.
People recognize the dwindling number of survivors, in church, in the streets, and in ceremonies. One does not find them hard to find, service uniforms with all their medals and commendations freshly pressed and cleaned. Even I, an outsider, recognize the sacrifice and pause to reflect in silence.
God made today a reality for you and I. “Jesus, staying true to God’s purposes, reached out in a special way to the Jewish insiders so that the old ancestral promises would come true for them. As a result, [You and I] the non Jewish outsiders have been able to experience mercy and to show appreciation to God.” (Romans 15.8,9)
The question, as it always does, remains with us. What does it mean? Is there a real difference today so long after the event? Could it be that we are remembering an event now with far more importance than it really had then?
I have heard the arguments about World War I and about God’s sacrifice. The evidence does not support the truth, however, the dead are not going to argue with us. Additionally, God gives us unconditional freedom to decide. The question each must answer is; where do we stand?
I see the sacrifice and I remember. I remember the love and see the decision I face every day. I chose to live, truly live.