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Remembrance Day

Dear Friends,

As Saturday November 11th approaches, I would like to share with you reflections on Remembrance Day from retired Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. We give thanks for the courage and sacrifice of all those men and women who have served to protect others. Archbishop Rowan encourages us to reflect on the glory of God revealed in their courage and sacrifice.

Every Blessing, --Fr. Jon

From the very beginning of the Christian faith, glory has been re-defined. Instead of being a reputation won by aggression and success, glory has been understood as that radiance of truth that can shine out in the middle of suffering and even of failure. Glory has been understood to be bound up with the integrity of God, and God's human creatures. Because glory is supremely for the Christian shown in the cross of Jesus Christ where the integrity of unconditional love blazes out in the midst of a situation as horrific as that of the trenches in the First War. And those who spoke most sense from the Christian point of view about the experience of the was appearing to them and through them.

"The glory of God" said one of the earliest Christian theologians, "is a human being fully alive", and that is a very different definition of glory from the reputation won by being a successful aggressor or even a successful defender. Glory is life, integrity, humanity and wholeness. And if we're aware of that then in both peace and in war - glory will be something deeper and more complex, but more lasting and more true than some of the definitions of glory that those who love war would like us to cling to.

In giving thanks for the courage and the self-giving of so many who have stepped into the breach and risked their lives for the sake of others, for the sake of justice, for the sake of liberty, we remember a world into which we are called by those discoveries: a world where indeed the glory of God is a human being fully alive, so that our duty and our call is to help people come alive to God's glory, in a world where we fully recognise the suffering of one and the sufferings of all cannot be separated.

May God give us the strength and the clarity to work for those things as the best way of honouring those whose sacrifice we commemorate today. Amen.

An excerpt from Archbishop Rowan Williams’ Remembrance Service at Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, HM Tower of London, Nov 9, 2008

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