Text: Matthew 5:1-12
In the name of the +Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
- We have just heard what are called the Beatitudes: the most fundamental teaching of Christ which echoes down through the ages and resonates with all who gather here this morning
- Each of the verses call us into action which challenges us, and subverts the values that society seems to value
- Christ calls us to be aware of our needs, to strive for justice and to seek peace: to love without condition or prejudice
- The call to love is harder than the call to hate
- It is easy to pick on someone else
o who may be weaker than you
o who may be a bit different
o who may have a different colour skin
o who may have a different religion or even way of worshipping as a Christian
o It’s easy to hate those who you are fighting, whether it was in those terrible wars of the past or currently in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places around the world
- It is much harder to do what Christ commands us to.
o harder to forgive
o harder to rebuild friendships and respect
o harder to move outside our comfort and reach out to those who are different, or strange, or lonely
- All those who gave their lives, and continue to give their lives, gave their lives for us, and for our Society; striving to follow out the implications of the Beatitudes.
- Winning wars is not what this was about. This plaque is not about winning, but about giving: giving all.
- For after the war is won, the real challenge is in winning the peace, winning hearts and minds and making lasting change. Rolling into a country with all the weapons in the world will not win a peace; and so now, in Afghanistan and Iraq and around the world, as it was after conflicts in the past, our forces are engaged in that most difficult task.
- I consider this parish privileged that representatives of 33 Field come and mark their Remembrance with us, and they should be assured of our continued prayers for their work, for their deployment, for their mission in the world, as they seek to continue the honoured tradition of our armed forces: on land, sea and air and to live out those beatitudes and strive for peace.
- It was for peace that these names appear on our wall, and in our hearts
- It was with the goal of peace, loyalty and duty that they gave their lives for the sake of others
- It is because they “loved one another as Christ loved us” that we remember them
- It is possibly the hardest thing to do – to do what Christ asks us.
- He asked them and he asks us. Here. Today
- Seek Justice. Show Mercy. Strive for Peace. Love. One. Another.