The latest Roots worship magazine issued on behalf of the Methodist Church describes an all – age service to commemorate the First World War ‘Remembering war and building peace’.
In the years immediately after the Vietnam War, the Americans built the Washington memorial in the form of huge slabs of black granite covered with an immense list of 58,226 names. I remember reading about it some time ago. The writer of the article described the memorial but also the way people approached it. They said that many people came just as sightseers, walking along taking the whole list as a whole. Then he said he watched an elderly man come searching for a name, find it and lean forward and kiss the stone. Then a woman with a young child in her arms finding a name, touching it, and then taking her little child’s hand and lifting it to touch the name engraved. And he said – watching I realised this wasn’t just a list – every name was a person, loved and remembered.
This month we remember literally millions who have died as a result of war. God says – every one of these who fell is a child of mine, everyone I have counted the hairs on their head. So, we remember those who died and give thanks for what they gave to us and the generations which followed them and we rejoice that everyone was and remains forever precious and loved in God’s sight.
Going back to Roots the Gathering prayer is;
‘God our heavenly king, you made each one of us to be like you and blessed us with the rich and fruitful earth. You gave humanity responsibility for the good ordering and wellbeing of the world. Inspire us to work for a world of peace and justice where all may experience the power of your love.’
With good wishes