Thought for the Week
This past weekend, during Remembrance Day ceremonies, people around the country remembered the sacrifice of others.
Each year we are invited to contemplate both heroism and horror, as the stories which are told remind us of acts of individual bravery, but also highlight the human capacity for cruelty.
The civil rights campaigner, Malcolm X, remarked that “history is a people’s memory, and without a memory, man is demoted to the lower animals”.
Sometimes it is easy to remember events but there are times when time passes by and events become harder to remember.
Someone who understood this was an admiral from the First World War called Admiral Wemyss. He was due to sign the peace treaty that would bring about the Armistice but was supposed to wait until it was announced in parliament.
He disobeyed and signed the treaty at 11am on November 11 for two reasons – to save lives but also because he understood this would make the date memorable. The result was he ended up losing his pension, but we continue to remember the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Remembering is at the heart of the Christian faith, as communion is at the heart of worship for people of all Christian denominations. It reminds us of sacrifice – the sacrifice of Jesus so that we can be forgiven. When this meal was initiated by Jesus He understood how easy it would be for us to forget and so He gave this holy aide memoire.
When you next see a cross or perhaps if you are at communion remember it too has been given “lest we forget.” William Wilson Burnside Blairbeth Church