Remembrance Sunday, 8th November Order of Service

Remembrance Sunday 8th November 2020

U & G Online Service 11.30am

Field of remembrance, Saltwell Park, Gateshead

Tune – Passion Chorale – O Sacred Head sore wounded 

Prayers from Children

Father, How can you bear it? What must you think when you see…. the anger the hatred the killing and the endless wars? What must you feel When you see…. the bombs, the guns, the tanks and the missiles? Can you forgive us for the cruelty we inflict on one another? We are sorry, Lord. We are not worthy of your love.

Dear heavenly Father, 

Can you hear me

above all the noise?

It’s us fighting.

Wars have been raging between 

countries for years, and many lives 

have been lost for no reason at all.

People are vain and greedy 

and want more power and money. 

Please help us to be happy 

Please help us with what we’ve got

to stop all our wars.

Amen

The Weight of a Snowflake 

Tell me the weight of a snowflake“, a coaltit asked a wild dove. 

Nothing more than nothing“, was the answer. 

In that case, I must tell you a marvellous story“, the coaltit said. 

I sat on the branch of a fir, close to its trunk, when it began to snow – not heavily, not in a raging blizzard: no, just like in a dream, without a sound and without any violence. Since I did not have anything better to do, I counted the snowflakes settling on the twigs and needles of my branch. Their number was exactly 3,741,952. When the 3,741,953rd dropped onto the branch – nothing more than nothing, as you say – the branch broke off.” 

Having said that the coaltit flew away. 

The dove, since Noah’s time an authority on the matter, thought about the story for a while, and finally said to herself: “Perhaps there is only one person’s voice lacking for peace to come to the world.” 

In ‘New Fables, Thus spoke the Marabou’ by Kurt Kaufer

“Tusk, Tusk”, by David McKee 

Summary of the story: 

Once there were black and white elephants who could not live together. They decided to fight each other and all were killed, apart from a few of each colour who had hidden in the jungle rather than fight. Years later the grandchildren emerged from the jungle – they were grey! They began to live in peace until they noticed that some of them had big ears and some of them had small ears….

first published 1978, Red Fox Edition 1990

READINGS:

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Acts 10:36

You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

Romans 14:17

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 14:33

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Hymn – God is our strength and refuge

1 God is our strength and refuge,

our present help in trouble,

and we therefore will not fear,

though the earth should change!

Though mountains shake and tremble,

though swirling floods are raging,

God the Lord of hosts is with us evermore!

2 There is a flowing river

within God’s holy city;

God is in the midst of her—

she shall not be moved!

God’s help is swiftly given,

thrones vanish at his presence—

God the Lord of hosts is with us evermore!

3 Come, see the works of our maker,

learn of his deeds all–powerful:

wars will cease across the world

when he shatters the spear!

Be still and know your creator,

uplift him in the nations—

God the Lord of hosts is with us evermore!

TALK

You may have seen people wearing poppies at this time of year – maybe you have one as well. What are they for?  

Well… look at the different parts of the poppy

Red petals – a reminder of the blood that was and is spilled in wars – brave men and women who die in sacrifice for others.

I was reading a book recently and came across this story from the second world war. It is a true story about a boy called Jacklyn Lucas.

He’d fast-talked his way into the Marines at fourteen years of age, fooling the recruiters with his big muscles. . . . Assigned to drive a truck in Hawaii, he had grown frustrated; he wanted to fight. He stowed away on a transport out of Honolulu, surviving on food passed along to him by sympathetic older men on board.

He landed on D-Day [at Iwo Jima] without a rifle. He grabbed one lying on the beach and fought his way inland.

Now, on D+1, Jack and three comrades were crawling through a trench when eight Japanese sprang in front of them. Jack shot one of them through the head. Then his rifle jammed. As he struggled with it a grenade landed at his feet. He yelled a warning to the others and rammed the grenade into the soft ash. Immediately, another rolled in. Jack Lucas, seventeen, fell on both grenades. “Luke, you’re gonna die,” he remembered thinking. . . .

Aboard the hospital ship Samaritan, the doctors could scarcely believe it. “Maybe he was too young and too tough to die,” one said. He went through twenty-one big operations and became the nation’s youngest Medal of Honor winner — and the only high school pupil to receive it.

Flower – the poppies that grew on the battlefields were a sign of new life and hope for the future

The leaf set at 11 o clock position to remind us of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when the armistice was signed.  This is the day and the time we remember those who have died.

War is a painful, hurtful thing but it is not the picture that God really has for the world.  Revelation 21:4 says: ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Here is a world with no more sadness, pain, war or suffering.  This is a place of peace.  What do you think peace feels like?  Looks like?

Look at the dark centre of your poppy.  This is where the seeds are held – planting the seeds brings hope of new life.  We can help to bring about this new life, this vision of peace that God has.  We might think that we are remembering things from a long time ago, but actually this is something that we can be involved in now.

How can we help to bring peace? In our families, in our school, in the world?

As I blow these bubble, imagine that, as the bubbles drop and pop, peace is coming to that situation and the hard thing is disappearing. 

PRAYER

We think of/ pray for all who are angry- bring them peace

We think of/ pray for all who are jealous- bring them peace

We think of/ pray for all who are greedy- bring them peace 

We think of/ pray for all who hate- bring them peace 

We think of/ pray for all who are afraid- bring them peace

Amen

Sunrise, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, South of France 

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