Lest we forget, we remember the price of peace and lack thereof with vignettes of fallen souls and soldiers crossing our minds. Blood soaked moss on battle fields become a reenactment of the far reaching effects of one young brother killing the other, Cain with Abel leaving terrible stains unable to be cleansed apart from mercy and grace, repentance and faith.
Yes, we are our brother’s keeper.
‘Father, forgive us where we fail to weep over that which causes pain. Looking to the cross we cry, ‘Help us die to self and live to serve our neighbour. We choose life and therefore stand on guard for you and your ways.’
We regret all expressions of community which fail to uphold a common respect.
We let petty divisions fall aside to make room for decisions rooted in unity.
We set priorities of justice and peace through mutual surrender in reverence for Christ.
Yes, we are our sister’s keeper.
‘Father, forgive us where we rail against the sins of others yet sleep soundly in our own. Counting all schemes of human pride as loss, we rely on Christ and seek to end all strife.’
We forgive our debtors in remembrance of the debts he paid in full for us.
We do not fret over offences nor set our own needs above the other although we seek to live in truth.
We cast nets of hope across our families, our churches, and the nations of our world, noting the scope of human rebellion; promoting the good news of divine rescue by wearing the wreaths of lives laid down in loving service which point to the war he already waged on sin and death and won with the white flag of peace waving in the Spirit wind of his last breaths when he said, ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.’
The first and last posts of our Creator have been notes of intimate desire to know and be known, trumpeted with convincing willingness to bear the cost of relationship with us.
Will we bear the cost of relationship with others so they might see the face of God in us as we turn the other cheek, as we forget what is behind and press forward into life? What do we need to let go of so no brotherly quarrels grow in the soil of our hearts; so we learn to be a light in seasons rife with conflict?
A beachhead of glorious love and peace broke into the heartache and loss of innocence and staked out impenetrable walls of protection around the gospel of resurrection hope and coming shalom. This promise is written in the sky between heaven and earth in the path of Christ’s ascension to glory as reigning King forevermore ‘from whence he will come again to judge the living and the dead.’
Lest we forget the depth of our need, we intentionally remember that though fallen, he walks with us in covenant love, an enduring truce in which we better learn and are equipped by the Spirit to serve this world without neglect, honouring each life as made in the image of God, a brother or sister needing to know the battle is over.
‘Lord, we pray for the day when all weapons will be put down, whatever and wherever they may be. And on each brother or sister serving you in difficult situations, pour out your love and protection on body, mind and spirit. Amen.’
Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15: 12-14)