I walk my Border Collie, Theo, past the Millennium Hall in Hixon each day, and in recent times a silhouette of a WW1 Soldier has been fastened to the wall with the words: Lest we forget.
Flower beds have also appeared around the village in memory of the soldiers from Hixon who never made it back from the war…….Lest we forget. November 11th this year marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. It is a time not only to remember those who died, but also to celebrate the end of the fighting and give thanks for the safe return of the soldiers who did make it back to their loved ones. They too, as it were, laid down their lives for us. So, we give thanks to God for their safe return and we thank them for enduring all that they did for our sakes.
We must never forget the great sacrifice that each and every one of them made for us and all those who served their country in any way such as nurses or land army personnel.
When looking back at such terrible events people often ask: So where was God in all that?
The Bible tells us that Jesus came to earth to show us what God is like and what he wants us to be like.
In the life of Jesus, as he healed the sick and set people free from all that troubled and oppressed them, we can see God's goodness and his desire for our well-being.
In the words of Jesus, we can hear God's call to love and obey him, and to love and serve other people.
In the excruciating death of Jesus on the cross, we can see how immeasurably God loves us. God sent Jesus to lay down his life for us, paying the price for our sins … all the ways in which we disobey God and damage other people … so that we don't have to pay that price ourselves.
And in the resurrection of Jesus, we can see God's triumph over death and evil: the transformational difference that God can bring to any situation, no matter how dark, if we invite him into it; the new life that is ours if we desire it.
The Bible tells us that if we want to receive eternal life and a right relationship, right now, with God as our loving Father, then all we need to do is believe what Jesus has done for us and accept him as our Lord and Saviour.
So, where is God in the darkness of the world's most terrible events? Well, he is hanging on the cross, paying the price for it all.
He is rising to new life, promising hope and healing and transformation to all who trust in him.
And he is right here with us, answering our prayers and giving us his comfort and his strength.
Many of us will wear poppies this November, lest we forget those brave soldiers who died for our freedom, and all that was suffered by those who returned to their loved ones.
Because of God's amazing love, I also wear a simple cross and carry a simple pocket cross…..lest I forget that Father God sent his Son to die for our eternal freedom … to share in our pain and suffering … and to shine his light in our darkness.