(Pulpit View for Hawick News – Friday 11th November 2011)
I’ve recently enjoyed watching the drama series Downton Abbey on Sunday nights. Especially during the second series, which straddled the First World War, we’ve seen the character wrestling with issues such as love, loyalty and duty.
Can family ties survive the eloping of the earl’s daughter with the Irish revolutionary chauffeur? Will the ladies of the house ever be able to return to their pre-war subdued existence? And should the maid marry the valet, even though he will be arrested for murder?
In the end, several characters had to make personal sacrifices for the security and happiness of others. Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) Today we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, often far away from home, to ensure the security and happiness of total strangers.
As we remember them in gratitude, let us pray for peace between the peoples of the world so that the bloodshed may end. If we are at odds with people around us, let us work for peace in those situations. And let us call to mind the sacrifice that Jesus made, to bring peace between God and mankind.