Today was Remembrance Sunday, at least for us. There a a lot of ways one can go with Remembrance Sunday, it is complicated when it coincides with Remembrance Day but there are some givens regardless of the calendar date. We observed two minutes of silence, which is a very long time for most of us. We sang “O Canada” unaccompanied, I like both piano and organ but there is something about the national anthem being sung by voice alone which fits the day. We sang hymns appropriate to the day, not particularly martial but more along the lines of “Eternal Father, strong to save.”
And then I preached about God being the God of the living. As some of you know, I don’t preach from a manuscript or notes very often. This time I had a couple of lines written down, the first of which was, “Wouldn’t it make more sense to talk about the dead, on Remembrance Sunday?” It’s a fair question, which I’d say even if I wasn’t the one who posed it. My answer is, this is Remembrance Sunday, and part of remembering for us as people who believe in God is also remembering that Jesus describes those who have gone before and are now dead as, “for to him [God] all of them are alive.”
Death is not the final answer for God. For us, for this world, this fallen world, death is the end. But, the God whom we love and serve does not share these limits. God is the God of the living, whether we would count them as alive or not.
PS Of all the things I enjoy about preaching, and there are many, one of the best is realizing new things, even in the midst of a sermon. It struck me for the first time, or at least in a new way, how the influence of my Dad’s half-brother Allan had influenced me through Dad.