Good remembering

12 Nov 2016

 On Thursday, we had an event, co-hosted by Ekklesia and the Peace Pledge Union, at which Virginia Moffatt was speaking about her being-written book about war, peace, family and memory, and we reflected together on the wearing of poppies, red and/or white, and their meanings.

 

And tomorrow, we will have an act of Remembrance as part of the beginning of the service. 

 

There have been years when it this has been straightforward, and years, like this one, when things seem complex and shifting. The politicisation of poppies has made things much more complicated than it used to be.

 

There's a bit of me (of you too, or is it just me?) that wishes it could all be a simple as it was when I first became aware of wearing a poppy, and of asking what it meant. I was told, quite rightly, that is was to remember the people who had died, in wars, and whose death meant that I could go safely to school and church - and that the best way to remember them was to pray (and as I grew older, to work) to make sure there were no more wars. 

 

Then, when I got a little older, I began to attend church parade for Brownies, and then Guides, on that Sunday - and it was still basically the same thing, but with a bit of added "patriotism" - after all, at that time, the promises I made to join these organisations involved promising to do my duty to "God and the Queen" as a united entity - an odd conjunction for a good Baptist girl.

 

And I could go on describing my story of encounter with the poppy, but this is a church blog, not my own. The point I am reflecting on is that poppies seem to have got complicated. But actually, that is nothing new....

 

For poppies are about remembering war and peace, death and life - and none of those are simple. 

 

But they matter. Remembering well matters - because, if we don't, then we remember badly, and that becomes untruth and then outright lie, and that way, we move towards a deeply unhealthy community.

 

So tomorrow, we will remember - and we will remember them all, and the horror as well as the heroism. Because, it by remembering, we learn to resist....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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