how we remember

As a leader in a peace church in Canada, I've always wrestled with how to commemorate Remembrance Day.

"The Road to Peace" by 'gilad
I firmly believe it’s the role of Christians to seek nonviolent resistance to injustice in its many ugly forms. No, this is not passive nonresistance, but the creative and active response to injustice (read Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed if you want a glimpse into the possibilities of such response). Yes, such an approach invariably fails to guarantee success at it’s typically defined - risk is inherent to active peacemaking. Such is the way of Jesus.

But with such a view, I don’t think I should ignore Remembrance Day. I wear a poppy. I read stories of war veterans. I pause in silence.

Yet one could suggest a recognition of Remembrance Day communicates a parallel support of current military efforts by Canada or other countries - I’m guilty by association.

There is a tension. And I feel it.

Which is why it’s so important for me to reflect on how we remember just as much as the act itself. Central to how I remember as a Christian is lament - lament that war blasts us with the reality of the world as it shouldn’t be. As we honor the sacrifice of veterans, we mourn the fact that such a practice even exists.

Remembrance Day - and all thoughts on war and violence for that matter - should lead us to lament...

...Lament the innocent victims; the families torn apart.
...Lament the soldiers’ lives lost on all sides (all war is more complex than good vs. evil).
...Lament the violent assertion of the strong at the expense of solidarity with the weak.
...Lament the absence of God’s ultimate vision for peace.

Related: “inefficiency wins”


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