On papered petals
painted scarlet red
memories mingle
sacrifice made
lives lost
may honour
be #gratitude’s response

(A Pres-bit|@wpgpres)

I do not think that we are in danger of forgetting.

  • I think we remain most conscious to honour those who have died on battlefields – known and unknown – that take men and women from their homes and families.
  • I think we endeavour to honour those who have been injured on battlefields – known and unknown – and who return severed from a life no longer recognisable.
  • I think we struggle with the temptation of elevating honour into glory.
  • I think we silently hold this glorified honour in tension. One in which men and women sacrifice so much for the abstract strategies and plans made by those who often never see battlefields or theatres of war.

I think we are in danger of forgetting a central Christian tenet and one that threads through of the Abrahamic traditions: not only to care for the orphans and widows, but to address the implicit challenge to confront our choices and systems that make their lives a reality.


Image: Garry Knight

I think we are in danger of perpetuating a system of colonialization, even in the midst of congratulating ourselves for living into Right Relations with our Indigenous neighbours.

I think we are in danger of forgetting that 7 million Syrian refugees are directly connected to strategies and plans that span years, decades, and beyond in which we are complicit.

I think we are in danger of forgetting that caring for those dispossessed by war does not subsequently forgive us of the ways in which our choices reinforce and support a globalised industry of violence that connects weapons with the violation of the land.

I think we are in danger of forgetting that Jesus’ ministry guides, encourages, bellows and commands us to face difficult lament and prophetic challenge, in order to realise that we have a choice about to whom our obedience lies.

Sunset on poppy

Sunset on poppy
Image: Steve C

I believe that in God’s Creation, beauty abounds even in the midst of our forgetting. Whether that is the stark embrace of powdered scarlet poppies that hold men and women in slumber’s release from unimaginable violence or a cellist, in the midst of a bombed-out-Sarajevo, offering the gift of music in the insanity of binaries that pit us against them: God is always there, often in spite of ourselves.

I believe that what we remember and what we forget defines the kind of God we want, as opposed to what it might be that the Holy wants. If in our privileged midst, we are welcoming the marginalised, the oppressed, dispossessed – who are often children and women – then what might we need to remember?

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