You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to
                indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
                Galatians 5:13

Today is celebrated as Remembrance Day, a day when we remember those who gave their lives so that we might enjoy the freedom we do in this part of the world. Many have suffered and died to secure our release from oppression at least a little longer. I am always moved when I reflect on who sacrificed and those who are prepared to put their lives on the line for others. Talk is cheap and talkers are plentiful. I think part of our struggle to understand the fallen soldier comes with our difficulty in accepting sacrifice, especially when a sacrifice seems so final and appears to hold no obvious reward.

Yet men and women of action, resolve and commitment are rare treasures. I am thankful for the defeat of those who would like to subjugate us. The idea that anyone could give up everything - for people he does not even know - is hard to process. We spend so much of life trying to gain, to acquire, to win.

Having said that, I think it is also important for Christians to remember Christ's sacrificial love. We often fail to love Him sacrificially in return. We thank Him with our words, but do little to change our lives. Yet this is what God desires of us. The gift of faith brings us freedom - freedom from sin, freedom to be who God made us to be and to know God more deeply. However, that freedom came with the price of the Cross and our gift of freedom is to be used for service.

It may seem pointless in some ways to acquire freedom only to turn around and serve. Yet two thoughts come to mind here. One, is that the free person who chooses to serve knows freedom unlike any other. He has no need of taking from others because his sense of worth comes from a higher source. It is often said that it is only when we give ourselves away that we truly find ourselves. The second is a truth I need to constantly remind myself of when life seems hard or unfair: this life is nothing compared to the next. Anything we "lose" here is never truly lost if our lives belong to Christ.

Wars waged by human beings, even though the participants may feel its sanctioned by God, will never bring lasting peace because they are never pure in their purpose or execution, and because lasting peace cannot be achieved by human efforts no matter how noble. We are always dealing with greater or lesser amounts of evil. Besides that, the cross of Jesus Christ eloquently testifies to the fact that all of us need divine grace and forgiveness if we are going to enter the new heavens and earth that will last forever. So this Remembrance Day, let us be thankful for the relative peace and prosperity we enjoy. Let us be thankful for the sacrifices that have been made but let us also remember that this world is not our home and we are just passing through.

Rev’d. Fr. Colin Humes