Thursday, 22 November 2012

Remembering

 

November 2012 editorial in the Record of the Free Church of Scotland

This month saw the annual Day of Remembrance for those who gave their lives in defence of our nation. It is very appropriate that we show our gratitude for their sacrifices. Yet although they gave their lives we know that they have no influence over the choices and directions of subsequent generations in their nation. In a sense, apart from their example of giving their all, their contribution ceased when they gave their lives. Nevertheless we have an obligation to think about the values that caused them to make the ultimate sacrifice and what it was that they were fighting for.

Their example speaks to us. While we may not be called upon to give our lives in battle we should always be ready to defend the values that we hold dear. Because the fact is, our country is fast losing its Christian heritage and if we don’t give our all it will be gone. Of course, it might be gone even if we give our all, but it is better to lose it after attempting to keep it than losing it without doing anything. After all, we know that in order for evil to triumph it only requires that good people do nothing.

What can we do? Pray is the most important response and it demands participation. We can pray individually at any time, yet it is obvious that united prayer is more likely to be heard. It is surprising, at least to me, how little prayer is being arranged, despite the obvious rapid departure of our country from its Christian heritage. We are in danger of sleep walking into the night!

Why can’t our congregations meet once a week for focussed prayer about the issues that mark our national decline? I know most have short times of prayer attached to our midweek meetings, but such occasions cannot really be called prayer meetings. If we have not got the time to meet to pray about our national situation, there is something very wrong with our priorities.

Of course, we must do more than pray, but we cannot do more until we pray. What else can we do? That is up to you (and me)! Anyone of us can provide a list of things we should do. I suspect each of us already knows a couple of responses we can make. The one thing we cannot do is to wait for someone else to do something.

The people we recalled on Remembrance Sunday are recalled with admiration and affection. Hopefully, future generations of the Christian church will have the same memories of us when they look back to how we responded to our current crisis!