This week I met a Recruiting Sergeant for the army and he told me about his work on our local High Streets. It was his job to “sell the army” to potential recruits i.e. young men and women thinking about their future careers.
The sergeant I was talking to was upbeat about the task but behind it I sensed his role presented quite a challenge.
As we come again to our annual Remembrance Commemorations this November, it would be nice to think that armies were no longer needed; that the world had finally learnt to live in peace with itself; that arms and fighting were a thing of the past … wouldn’t that be wonderful! But in truth, we all know that the world is probably a more dangerous place today than it ever has been before.
I have never been a member of the armed forces but I have met many soldiers, sailors and airman who have served our country with courage, determination and distinction. I believe they need our prayers, our understanding and our encouragement.
At this time of the year we rightly remember and give thanks to God for those who gave of themselves in the service of a greater good. But we must also pray for and work for peace in whatever we can.
Our Armed forces do a very difficult job in far away places in all manner of conditions. When we meet them – let’s take time to find out about what their active service involves? Our world is a very multicultural place of diverse people. The saying goes: “divided we fall but united we stand” – We all have a role to play in trying to understand each other’s story and situation. Contrary to what we might think, God is not British – he transcends every race and every nation. His calling to us all is to work for peace and justice in our world today and this is Jesus Christ’s calling to us too. We all have much more in common with each other than that which divides us.
So where does “working for peace” begin? Answer: by being ready to engage with others, to listen to their stories and to really try to understand the reality of their everyday lives. This is a godly endeavour and something for us all to work on.