Remembrance Sunday – Sermon 289

17th February 2019 Off By Derek

Remembrance Sunday
6.30pm Evening Prayer BCP
11th November 2018 [Not Preached]

Prayer to Start

May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ



Today is the 100th Anniversary of the ending of the Great War – At the time it was said that – it would be  the war to end all wars – but sadly – as we know – that was not to be the case –

many wars between countries have happened since – indeed  – our parents and grandparents, family members and friends may have fought in them.

My grandfather fought in the first world war in France and my father in the second world war in Burma and both survived which is one of the reasons I am here today – but I did lose an uncle in the Korean War – who was killed at just 21 years of age.

I’m sure we all have our own stories to tell –

But in our readings this evening – we are promised that a future world peace will come – and one that will be brought about – not by ourselves but by God –

Point 1         Isaiah – A vision for the future

Our first vision of peace is given by Isaiah -foretelling that – animals that would not normally be together – sitting down at peace with one another – the lion and calf – the leopard and the kid. 

In other words – the dominant animal (or human) not trying to overcome and destroy the less dominant animal (or human)  

What do we think? poetic imagery or prophetic foresight?

Well – in recent years we have seen some startling moves towards peace in some quarters – of the world – but we have also seen unspeakable atrocities in others –

so much so – that for every good step forward – there seems to be even more steps backwards. 

We would all like to believe in a world that the prophet paints – a new age of peace and harmony – when violence discord and hatred will be a thing of the past –

but most of us take such claims with a strong pinch of salt – life – we tell ourselves – at least today – that it is just not like that –

But even though such an attitude is clearly understandable – given the past record of human history – Isaiah reminds us – that such a belief – and such a way forward – cannot finally be acceptable –

we humans – might abandon the world to its fate – but God never will –

Isaiah reminds us that God will never rest until His will is done – and His kingdom come – and is established on earth as in heaven –

For us – Isaiah’s vision may seem light years away from the world we know now – but as believers in God’s grace and promises – we must never lose that vision of what life can eventually become – or stop working towards it –

Point 2         Jesus will bring Peace

When Isaiah was called to be a prophet – he was told there were going to be bad times ahead –

the emptying of the land – the Assyrian domination – the end of the monarchy – the deporting of the people – Israel would become like a felled tree – a tree cut down by a wielding axe –

But he was also told that from that stump a new branch will grow – a new king will come – that will be both a shoot and a root –

not just another king of David’s line – but through Him new life will become possible on a world-wide scale –

Under this new shoot’s rule – our natural attitudes towards things will change – anxiety and fear will be a thing of the past – we will learn to live our lives – through trust and dependence on God and on one another –

Isaiah paints us a beautiful picture of what life could be like when we allow ourselves to be transformed by Jesus –

Jesus will do what we have failed to do – Obey God’s commandments fully from the heart –

He will show us what peace and harmony really is – show us that we urgently need to re-examine our life styles and repent of our destructive ways

Jesus’ tree of peace will be put on a dead tree – the cross – and from that tree will come salvation for all who follow Him

God will take us –  dead as we are and puts us in the nature of Jesus –

Point 3         Jesus will bring Peace

And in our New Testament Reading we see what that true nature is – and what it truly means –

Jesus will bring comfort and healing to us all –

At the start of the chapter we have the disciples with troubled hearts – and Jesus tells them to trust God –  and to Trust Him –

The disciples were concerned that Jesus was going away from them – and so He speaks of His Father’s House – both to assure tham that He was going somewhere safe –  and that He was going away for their benefit –

In His father’s House – there would be enough room for them to join Him when the time came –

and He tells them He will make sure they do if they follow His ways –

“I am the way – the Truth and the Life” said Jesus –  “no one comes to the Father except by me”  –

Here too Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit – who will be sent to be our guide – to show us the way forward – show us how to behave –

He will male love at the centre of everything –

“If you love me – you will keep my commandments” – “anyone who loves me – will be loved by my Father” –

Jesus’ way is the way to follow – to bring about new life – and a new beginning – filled with His peace –

“Peace I bring you – peace I give you”

 Jesus promises us peace – not the sort of peace the world brings – but the sort of peace He brings

We cannot create such peace ourselves – but we can cultivate it through making time for Jesus and for God –

creating a space in our lives for prayer – and reflection – and being open to what is within us

Such peace involves letting go – and seeing life from another perspective – from God’s perspective –

it also means taking hold of a prize greater that the world can have –  a peace that passes all understanding –

But the way to this peace was through the sharp conflict that was to come – “The ruler of this world is even now on his way to arrest Jesus –

Jesus is now pointing them – towards His death to come – which must take place for this new peace to happen –

Jesus came to die on the cross – so that our sins can be forgiven – and we can be brought back to a relationship with God – so we can live in God’s love and peace.

 and with everyone filled with God’s love and peace – there will be no room for greed –  and power and war  –


God brought Isaiah to disturb our thinking – to cut through the worldly logic – that so often fills our lives – to call us back to the heart of what it is all about – what the prophets were all pointing to – “Jesus”

Jesus will show us the way to live – and how to reach a new life filled with His love and Peace –

Are we ready to change and accept Jesus Christ into our lives – and live in the power of His spirit –

If enough of us can follow the way – the truth and life that Jesus brings – then in the words of Isaiah – “There will be neither hurt nor harm” – and war will be no more.