Sunday morning 10 November 2019.
The meeting yesterday was led by Major Ian F Payne and focussed on ‘Remembrance’, in particular 1 John 4:16 ‘God is love’.
He drew attention to the huge numbers of people who had died due to war and showed a map which illustrated where the war zones are today. In introducing his theme, Major Ian reminded us that ‘The one who fears is not made perfect in love because v 18 says ‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.’ We are a minute cog in a huge wheel of life but we can made a difference in the world by sharing God’s love.
‘Jesus, stand among us’ (SA Song 338) was the opening congregational song followed by a reflective song ‘Let there be love shared among us’. Divisional Commander Major Mark Herbert opened in prayer and prayed for a fresh understanding of what it means to love. He gave thanks for those who had given their lives for our freedom.
The Singing Company led by Kate Boughton provided their music ministry with ‘Peace’ sharing the words ‘Let’s show the world that we can love each other and live in peace and harmony’. Two new Singing Company members were introduced to the congregation – Benjamin and Anneliese.
The Scripture reading was 1 John 4:13-21. Then followed the SA Song 700 ‘For the joys and for the sorrows’. Major Judith Payne read a real letter written by a soldier from the front line on 18 July 1944 to his family which described some of the conditions in which they were living and serving but implying how proud they were to be serving their country. In a change of mood from reflective to positive encouragement the Songsters sang ‘He is my way’
reminding us that ‘He is my friend, He is always so near, He is my guide, with him there I’ll not fear. He is my hope in the dark of the night, He is my joy, he makes ev’rything right. Jesus is my light.’
In his message, Major Ian spoke in remembrance of all those who have fallen in both World Wars. The display at the front of the hall included a list of conflicts and rolls of honour of Corps members who had died in both World War 1 and World War 11. He described how people can be given hope by being helped out of their hopelessness and saved through God’s love. He told how, at Rosie’s funeral (a local well-known homeless woman) her homeless friends had made an effort to tidy up and came to her funeral in the Chapel of Rest. They had been looking for hope. This is offered on Tuesday nights when dinners are served to the homeless but only after a God spot when they are told of the love of God. As Christians we have to make a difference and offer hope, inclusion and care. We are told to ‘bear with only another and forgive one another.’ How many wars would not have happened if this had been followed? We all need forgiveness but we are not good at forgiving ourselves. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. There is absolutely nothing that the Lord cannot forgive in our lives. Absolutely nothing that He cannot restore. Forgiveness gives us freedom. If we fall, He forgives again and again. Fear can be the root of war but perfect love casts out fear. ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life’. Let the peace of God rule in our hearts.
Following a relevant short film the act of remembrance was held including two minutes silence. ‘Help us build a loving world’ (SA Song 1001) was sung by the congregation as a time of reflection. The final song (SA Song 1000) ‘For the healing of the nations’ was a prayer for a life of love in action and asking God to help us.
Report for the website by Jean Jones – Photographs by Major Estelle Clack
Our Band were out supporting the Civic Remembrance service in Victoria Gardens , and this was a well attended event as usual .
The Band were thanked for their great contribution to the ceremony