Sunday Worship 14th November 2021

Welcome to this morning's "Come Together on Sunday" Sunday Worship service for Remembrance Sunday, led by Rev Christine Fox (in church and via Zoom).


We normally worship in church each week and also via Zoom, with a recording of the Zoom meeting published by Monday morning. If you are not currently on our mailing list for Zoom please contact Rev Christine: christineamfox@gmail.com


Click below on the red play button to start this morning's service video.

God Bless x


If you'd like to connect with Grangewood please contact us.

Rev Christine Fox: christineamfox@gmail.com


Thank you to all those who have been part of arranging this week's service.

Below you can find this weeks Message. Click here to find the whole worship sheet.


Message

John 15:12-17

On this Remembrance Sunday we hear again the words Jesus says to his

friends – “my command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater

love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

The greatest love is defined here for us – this most important kind of love is

to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

We remember with gratitude all those whose deaths were in some way

connected with ‘battles’ against our enemies. But some will question – did

those who die really lay down their life or was it just taken from them? Does

their death still express this ‘great love’ that Jesus commended, if they didn’t

actually choose to die? Was this loss of life really worth it?

Listen to some reflections* on this question after a visit to Tyne Cot Cemetery

from an 18-year-old recruit, graduating from Basic Training in 2019

“I wasn’t sure what to expect of Exercise Valiant Eagle. We were told

that no part of the exercise – from home soil to the Ypres Salient, near

Passchendaele in Belgium – was unimportant. Every part tells the story:

of the political situation, use of the military, and the courage of the

serving forces. We were told repeatedly that what we would see would

undoubtedly have an effect on us. I was still on a high from having

graduated from Basic Training, and visiting Tyne Cot Cemetery brought

me back to earth. The graves of 12,000 British soldiers and 35,000

soldiers with no known grave – only their name on a wall. Name after

name: someone’s son, someone’s father, someone’s boyfriend,

someone’s friend… It is all too big to take in. “We were asked to reflect

on the question: ‘Was it all worth it?’ I really don’t know; I don’t have an

answer to that. What I do know is that I am grateful that they were

prepared to stand up for freedom, that which they treasured, and all that

they believed to be true. They wanted to be counted in their

commitment to country, but not counted like this. I want to be counted

like them too, that’s why I joined the Royal Air Force, and that’s why I

think it was important for me to see this and experience why my

commitment is more than words; it’s my life.”

This recruit was ready to give his life just as so many before him; and for him,

the fact that they were prepared to stand up for what they believed in, was

enough.

When Jesus spoke of life laid down for friends he was speaking about his own

imminent death, which we can look back on and see how it benefitted all of

humanity because he overcame death and enabled people to know that death

is not the end.

Jesus says that those who are his friends - these ones that he died for - are

those chosen by him to bear fruit in their lives as much as in their death. “You

did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go

and bear fruit—fruit that will last” So those who follow Jesus’ example, whose

lives bear fruit because they have seen the way he gave his life and have

been ready to do the same – these are Jesus’ friends.

Jesus says- “You are my friends if you do what I command. …This is my

command: Love each other”. And what his life shows us is that to really love

each other – which includes the work for peace - is hard work – but he is there

in the midst of the agony and pain of it all. Jesus is not only with us when life

is easy and all things work out well, but also in the painful times when

everything is wrong; hanging on the cross he asked his Father “Why have

you forsaken me?” Even Jesus, as he went through the suffering that would

bring an end to death, felt God had abandoned him – but we know that God

the Father had not deserted him, because he then raised his Son to new life.

The questions will always be with us but God is still with us too – giving us the

hope of the peace of Christ within, even while all around is turmoil. And it is

this that inspires Jesus’ friends to live lives of love for each other.

Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, 8th President of the UN General Assembly, wrote:

“The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war”.

The Revd Phil Corrigan (RAF chaplain) reflects* -

In a world that is seeing huge political change, where old tensions are

rising and new threats are emerging, the greatest honour we can afford

to the fallen is, like them, to engage ourselves daily in the fight against

oppression, inequality, injustice and terror, wherever we find it.

Remembrance Sunday draws me into that ‘sacred space’, where I can

remember those who fell during my deployment in Afghanistan. I think

of them and the families they left behind. I remember the wounded and

wonder where they are today. I am reminded of the horrors of war, spelt

out by the long list of names spread over so many cenotaphs and

church walls. I resolve afresh to pray and work for peace. For there is

great truth in what Pandit says: “The more we sweat in peace, the less

we bleed in war”.

We pray in the words of Desmond Tutu:

“Good is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than

darkness; life is stronger than death. Victory is ours, through him who loves

us.” Amen

 

*These reflections and more are in Remembrance Resources on the

Methodist church website


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