I found out this week that there are 14 men who fought and died in the 1st World War buried in our graveyard. 14, out of 100’s from Stevenage and over 15 million worldwide, whose bodies are in France, Belgium or buried on far-flung shores. Add the number killed in conflicts in the 20th century and you reach around 100 million. The numbers are staggering, almost beyond comprehension.
And whilst we might want to debate the reasons for the wars fought, and whether war can ever be just, the fact remains that these men and women stood up for something they believed in and were willing to risk their all for their families, their neighbours and friends and the survival of their countries. Being willing to sacrifice yourself like that is what Jesus calls ‘the greatest love.’
But unlike those whose sacrifice we remember today, Jesus died for those who were his enemies. Romans 3:23- God demonstrates his love for us in this: It was whilst we were still sinners that Christ died for us. So as we stand in silence this Sunday, let’s give thanks for those who gave their lives for their loved ones and their country. But let’s also remember the One who gave his life for us, for that is the true measure of love and devotion.