Today, 8th May 2020 at 11.00, we are observing 2 minutes silence to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe, when the sounds of war fell silent on this continent.
In the bible Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 reminds us that ‘There is a time to be silent – and a time to speak’. Of the two it is import that the silence comes first. Amidst all the words, all the media coverage, all the expressions of Remembrance, hymns and poetry; nothing speaks louder, more powerfully, more deeply or meaningfully, than a nation that stops, bows its head and stands in silence.
That silence is a loud shout, a roar of the remembrance, lest we forget:-
lest we forget the tyranny of Nazism and fascism
lest we forget those who endured the mud and barbed wire,
the unwelcoming torpedoed seas,
the flack filled skies
The falling bombs
Our silence will be a loud statement that honours those who served country and gave their lives, lest we forget that our freedom today and the peace of Europe was paid for by great human sacrifice
But there are things we should forget,
Ecclesiastes also reminds us that, ‘there is a time to keep – there is a time to throw away’,
a time to let go, a time to forgive, a time to forget the enmity, the past wrongs, the past betrayal, to forget the past hatred and divisions.
There is a time for everything. When we have taken time to be silent, it is time to celebrate, to celebrate all the courage, capabilities and commitment of those who served in liberating Europe and the great victory they won for generations to come.
As we remember the many soldiers, sailors, and airmen who gave their lives restraining evil and opposing tyranny, give thanks for the years of peace that the nations of Europe have enjoyed since the Second World War.
Pray for those who still carry the scars of loss and pain, that God’s healing touch will be upon their lives
Give thanks that those who were once our enemies, are now our friends and ask a blessing upon them.
That we, and future generations, will not squander this legacy of peace.
We have chosen this hymn today as this was one of the 3 hymns played in Westminster Abbey back at the "Short Thankgiving For Victory" Service in 1945 and is still so well loved now. Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven.