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May hope be spoken, may hope be heard and may hope be lived.

My first thought when I realized that it would be my turn to give the homily on this Remembrance Sunday, was “Just what am I going to tell them?”… and the answer that I heard in my head was: The Truth…and my reaction was, “But what is the truth?” I’m not sure if this is the truth, but I hope it is helpful…and hopeful.

If you are at all aware of what is going on in our world, (and I feel we must take note of it all), you are assuredly saddened, depressed and feeling helpless….I know that I am. Sadly I hear some people say: It’s too depressing, I don’t watch or listen. And a lot of them are the younger generation.

Like me, most of you here this morning will remember the Second World War. The First World War was called the War to end all Wars…well that didn’t work did it? In our lifetime there have also been the Korean War, the Vietnam War, now Russia attacking the Ukraine, and most recently the conflict in Israel and Gaza…and all sorts of skirmishes all over the world, always ongoing.

It seems that as human beings we never seem to be without conflict. Tribalism at its worst…we hear words like “We are the chosen ones”…”we are right and you are wrong”. “Our God…not your God”…But if we understand what Jesus was teaching, it is that God is God of all…God wept for the Egyptians at the Red Sea…God wept for all the tribes that the Israelites killed as they took over the land after escaping Egypt. God weeps for the Ukrainians and the Russians being killed in that conflict. God weeps for the Jews and the Palestinians. God also weeps for what we are doing to our earth.  

We read from the bible…and there is much in there that has and is being used to promote this Tribalism. But…there is also much, especially in the prophets and in the teachings of Jesus, that promote peace and acceptance of all people and all of creation.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, wrote: “The Prophets sought to convey; that morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.”  

So where is the Good News? What can we do? It all seems to overwhelming. Well, there is a song: Let there be peace on earth, And let it begin with me. So where do we begin….

William Faulkner, in a speech at his daughter’s graduation in 1951 said: “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion, against injustice and lying and greed.”

Be a voice…but often is seems we are a voice crying in the wilderness…but be that voice …at every opportunity you can.

Be an example…even something as small as helping one person in need, or as small as doing something for the environment… a smile or hug for someone who is troubled or sad. Remember the ocean is make up of the tiny raindrops that fell.

I recently saw a quote from Vala Afshar and Iranian who is the Chief Digital Evangelist for Salesforce. Not sure just what that is, but loved what he said: “I started asking my 12-year-old son ‘who did you help today?’ instead of asking ‘how was school?’. He now starts his stories with ‘I held the door’, ‘helped a friend with math’, or ‘asked someone to sit with us at lunch’. He now proactively shares how he was helpful at school.”

Be a voice…..

I know that there is much wrong and much done wrong with our modern technology like the internet and Social Media, but I try to be a voice through Facebook…I have connections all over the world and hopefully what I post, repost and say on there is being helpful to others, is being a voice for good.

One person that I follow and repost, is Bishop Steven Charleson. At the beginning of the conflict in the middle east he posted a Call to Prayer:
Praying for peace in times of war can feel like facing a dragon with a paper sword. But we know that is only an illusion. War is not all-powerful, inevitable or unstoppable. Its origins are in the same place as peace: in the human heart. When we pray for peace, we pray to reach the hearts of other human beings, on all sides of the conflict. To restore a sense of compassion and hope. We seek to pour the water of life onto the flames of hate, one person at a time, until the rage subsides. So please, keep praying with me for peace, no matter how tempted you may be to despair. Confront the dragon with your love, as you work in every way you can, for the cause of peace.”

Be a voice…and pray

Bishop Steven also wrote:
“I do not know what will come next. I have no special insight or prediction.
I only know that whatever it is, I will have the Spirit beside me.
I say this not from faith alone, but from experience.
Like you, I have felt the Spirit with me on more than one occasion where that loving presence made all the difference.
I will never forget it. Therefore, I am at peace, come what may.”

~Amanda Gorman, the American poet wrote….

"There is always Light,

if only we are brave

enough to see it.

There is always Light,

if only we are brave enough

to be it."

Be a voice, pray, be aware of how the Holy Spirit is at work…and be brave and be a light….