Pew Sermon – Remembrance Sunday

“For everything there is a season…. A time to be born and a time to die.”
In an instant – in one short sentence, Solomon has expressed how fragile life is. 
“There is a time to be born and a time to die.” 
He goes on to tell the reader that everything we do in life; we do in its own time. In other words, in our daily lives there is a time for everything.
And because of that, Solomon tells us; There is a time to weep and a time to mourn.”
But he also tells us, 
There is a time to hate and a time to love
A time for war; and a time for peace.
I think it’s heartening to see that here, Solomon, after all the other issues in life that we all
face, ends with peace.
Peace doesn’t just happen; we make peace. 
In that sense it’s a goal—something we desire, something we strive for.
And Jesus tells us that those who actively pursue peace are blessed.

But, to actively pursue something, especially something so noble as peace, we need to prepare.
In today’s Gospel reading we are called to wait with hope the coming of Christ; but the truth is, we don’t know how long we have to wait.
The foolish bridesmaids are an example to us on this; they thought they had prepared but hadn’t prepared enough.
Perhaps they were expecting the bridegroom right away; an example of impatience in our world today.

The wise bridesmaids on the other hand had brough reserves of extra oil. 

They knew that the bridegroom would come in his own time, they were open minded about their preparations and so were able to light the way for the bridegroom.
But today we will remember those who died in conflicts that were fought to bring about peace.
We take time to remember those who made what we call ‘the ultimate sacrifice’ to bring about peace in our time.
We take time to honour those from our own communities.
We take time to honour the stranger who fought for us.
We take time to honour those who lived in fear and discomfort, in pain and terror, but
nevertheless took action to bring about peace.
If we intend to seek peace as a goal in the life of our society, in the life of our country, in the life the church, we don’t begin with peace as a task—we start with peace as a gift.
And if we hunger and thirst for righteousness; and share that peace; we will be blessed.
If we show mercy, and show the tyrant, the oppressor the power and the way of peace; we
will be blessed
If we seek and comfort the poor in spirit, if we support the bereaved, if we protect the meek.
Then we begin our journey to Christ with a pure heart; just like the wise bridesmaids
Christ really did offer Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for us.

Christ really is the peacemaker for each and every one of us