Dear Friend of The Fellowship,
On November 11, 1919, one year after the end of World War I – a war so brutal and bloody that it became known as “The Great War” – King George V proclaimed a public holiday, Remembrance Day, to honour those who died in this terrible conflict. I hope that, like me, on Remembrance Day you were able to pause and give thanks to the veterans in your life and offer gratitude to God for the ones who fought to secure the rights and freedoms we hold dear.
It has become a cliché to say that “freedom is not free,” but certainly history – and, for those with loved ones who have served their country and died in war, painful personal experience – teaches us that freedom is bought with blood and sacrifice. Perhaps this is why many countries set aside a day to remember those who fought and died in wars. In Israel, that day is Yom HaZikaron, or Israel Memorial Day, which is observed in the spring.
Public observances like Remembrance Day are important because they instill in us a healthy sense of gratitude for our soldiers. In the normal rush of everyday life, it is all too easy for us to take what we have for granted. Too often, we forget that our lives are not wholly our own – they are built on a foundation of God's goodness and grace, and the blood, toil, and heroic sacrifice of others.
In the midst of the wave of terror attacks gripping Israel, we have been given stark reminders of that sacrifice and a renewed gratitude for those who serve and protect us every day. We pause to honour and celebrate that heroism on Remembrance Day, and hopefully carry forth that awareness and appreciation throughout the entire year.
On the heels of Remembrance Day yesterday, please join me in taking a moment to give thanks to God for our fighting men and women, who are sent into some of the most dangerous corners of the world to fight a cold and unforgiving foe. Pray for their protection and guidance. And pray for the day when God will bless all of His creation with his most precious gift the gift of shalom, peace.