The Service of Remembrance at Chatham Salvation Army yesterday was led by Major Nigel Schultz.
The service began with the contribution from the Songsters (Limitless Grace) and continued with the well know hymn ‘To God be the glory’. Following prayers, and an appropriate introduction, scripture was read from 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Two poems were read:
In Flanders fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
That is forever England
If I should die, think only this of me That there’e some corner of a foreign field That is forever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam. A body of England’s breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away, A pulse in the eternal mind, no less Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, In hearts at peace, under an English heaven
The Singing Company (children’s choir) sang ‘Let there be peace on earth’ and Major Nigel brought his message saying (summarised):
Let me read to you from John 15.
The Singing Company have sung about peace on earth. Sadly, we live in a world where there is very little of that and very little of the right kind of love. Two words are often used together, ‘war’ and ‘peace’. Why? Surely it is better to bracket ‘peace’ and ‘love’. But how do we bring about peace in a world run by idiots?
Peace begins with you. Forty million people were injured or killed in World War 1. peace came at a terrible price. The Bible talks about the vine and how the branches abide in it using it as n example of how we can abide in God.
In my day school trips were boring. I was seven when taken to Hampton Court Palace and it was incredibly boring. There is a vine there, in a glass case. It was supposed to be a highlight of our visit but not for me. But now i can appreciate it more. The thick bases yield branches which are trained out and the fruit they yield is beautiful. The fruits of the Spirit are beautiful too.
Peace is a fruit of God’ Holy Spirit and it begins with Jesus Christ. It has always been one of humanities most valued treasures. Thee never was a good war or a bad peace. Peace represents nourishment to the soul. It is the essence of our existence.
Looking back at the vine, the younger branches bear fruit and the older ones sustain the growth. That is how our church should be. So I ask you today, what is the role of us each in making peace the focus of our world?
The ‘Act of Remembrance’ began with the song ‘All people that on earth do dwell’ and continued as follows:
‘They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them’
‘When you go home tell them of us and say
For your tomorrow we gave our today’
Laying of wreaths and poppies.
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us;
God save the Queen!
The song ‘Peace in our time, O Lord’ concluded the Act of Remembrance.
Whilst our own service was in progress the Band took its usual place at the local War Memorial for the public remembrance service held there every year, accompanying the hymns, providing the ceremonial trumpet calls and other suitable music for the large crowd that gathered.
The evening meeting was also on the theme of remembrance (Remember Me) and began with the Founder’s song, ‘O Boundless Salvation’. Following prayers and scripture (Hebrews 13:6-8) a further song (Yesterday, today, forever) heralded a time of personal testimony in which a number of people participated.
The ministry from the Band was ‘The light of the world’ and further scripture was from Psalm 106. Following the contribution from the Songsters (Let everything that has breath), Major Nigel delivered his message and said (summarised):
What does remembering mean? Our scripture speaks about what we are if we do not have love (nothing). In the Great War many millions were lost. We must ask ourselves if we actually want to remember this. Today, in Britain, there are nearly 40,000 war memorials. These are a landmark to our memories.
Sometimes there are things in our lives hat we don’t want to remember. However, loving one another is something we should never forget. Also there are sometimes false memories when we recall something which didn’t actually happen but there are always certain things which help us to remember with accuracy. Scripture is a great help in this. So, what is your dream
In 1914 boys of 16 years of age went to war with a dream in there minds, to make a difference. The same happened in 1939. Scripture says there is no greater love than to die for others. We, too, can dream and we must let people know that Jesus can change lives. That must be our dream for those around us. Transformation.
‘Joyful. joyful. we adore thee’ was the song chosen to end the day.
On Saturday evening the band gave a concert at West Malling baptist Church. Read alla bout it tomorrow. Thank for reading our website once again. Have a great week and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.