Thought for the week

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Remembrance is the theme of the month of November.

The secular acts of Remembrance at cenotaphs throughout the country, ‘remembering’ those who have given their lives in the cause of peace and justice in armed conflicts, especially in two world wars.

These acts of Remembrance take up the Christian theme of All Saints and All Souls which have dominated this month throughout the Christian era. Indeed, our concept of Remembrance is based on the Hebrew ideal of the Old Testament that we put back together the elements of our story, to recognise today where we have come from. To recognise the truth of who and what we are and to recognise the presence of the God who is love, in our story.

Jesus lived and died and rose again to prove God is with us in the love we share in the joy of affection and warmth, which helps us makes sense of the cross of anger, guilt, regret and the tomb of disappointment.

The reason the centenary of the First World War is so important is that it is only at this distance that we can actually face the truth of the suffering of that and all wars. There must be no amnesia or sentimentality. Only when we truly remember can we forgive in love. Love, which recognises that forgiveness means giving up hope of changing the past.

The Right Reverend Kevin Pearson

Bishop of Argyll and The Isles