Finding Common Ground

At the time of writing, we are 52 days away from the 100th anniversary marking the end of the First World War.

Remembrance Day gives us an opportunity to reflect and remember what has gone before us, to give thanks for the sacrifices made by so many. It is a time to remind ourselves of the freedoms we enjoy, and, often take for granted. It is a time where we are reminded of the fragility of mankind and our propensity to carry out all manner of evil. Most significantly it reminds us of our desperate need for a saviour.

As the learning mentor for need-oriented outreach/ evangelism, I see Remembrance Sunday as an opportunity to reach and engage people with the good news of Jesus. It is one of those rare occasions (like Christmas, Easter, weddings, christenings and funerals) where people from all walks of life are willing to cross the thresh-hold of our churches, which provides us a great opportunity to tell people about our wonderful God in a natural way.

Throughout the bible, sacrifice, thanksgiving and remembrance are key themes. For example, we read on a number of occasions that God continued to remember the Covenant He made with his people (Gen. 9:15-16; Exod. 6:5), the Israelites are constantly reminded to remember all that the Lord had done for them (Deut 8:10-18; Joshua 1:13). Today remembrance is most clearly expressed and demonstrated when the church gathers to partake in the Eucharist to remember the sacrifice of Jesus, who gave up his life on the cross so that we may have relationship with the Father. We respond in thankfulness for all that He has done through his death and resurrection and for giving us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Those who follow Jesus live with the hope that someday Jesus will return to the Earth and all things will be redeemed in the new creation, where we will see an end to all suffering, pain and mourning and we will be with God forever (Revelation 21). For those who don’t follow Jesus, the future seems much less optimistic.

 

I believe that if we are to see our neighbours, our friends and family come to know Jesus we need to recognise the opportunities that come along and make the most of them. As we gather to remember and give thanks for the sacrifice of those who have laid down their lives in battle let’s take this opportunity to introduce people to the One who gave the greatest sacrifice of all!

As we gather to remember and give thanks for the sacrifices of those who have laid down their lives in battle let’s take this opportunity to introduce people to the one who gave the greatest sacrifice of all!

I know that this isn’t always an easy thing to do, but when we are given such natural opportunities we need to take them and trust that God will speak through us and our worship services in a powerful way!

In order to help you do this I have I have taken time to collate a range of resources to assist you in preparing your services. Here you will find, sermon outlines, videos, ideas for children and teenagers, a link to special Messy church remembrance service, a Eucharist of remembrance, prayers and many other ideas. Finally if you would like any further help please feel free to give me an email: (gareth.fitzpatrick@covcofe.org) or give me a call: (07757225001) and I will be happy to assist you as I can.

Click below for resources:

Remembrance Day Resources

Gareth Fitzpatrick
Learning Mentor for Need-oriented Outreach.