James 1: 9 – 11
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
This is the Reading I had planned for Monday and today (Saturday) I was going to post a few cartoons about Church life as seen through the eyes of Derek the Cleric (please Google them) then I realised the significance of today’s date 15 August 2020 the 75th anniversary of VJ Day when the second world war finally came to an end.
James here talks about the rich and powerful coming to nothing and I remembered something I had heard that was spoken by one of the German leaders who signed the final surrender a few months before. It is reported that as he got up from the table he looked at the Allied commanders and said “Let us hope our Japanese friends realise the futility of persevering with a totally lost cause, unlike us”.
Sadly they did not until after the 6 and 9th of August and the names Hiroshima and Nagasaki become famous for all the wrong reasons. The Japanese high command was until then certain that death was far preferable to the dishonour of defeat – although of course they could be pretty certain they would not be the one’s dying. Verse 11 above is perhaps too near for comfort given the circumstances.
The war though was ended and many hoped as they had in 1918 that a new World order would emerge of peace equality and justice. That had failed to materialise in the twenties but it can be argued that it did in the late forties and fifties. Macmillan’s winds of change versus Churchill’s iron curtain descending.
Whatever else the World has known general peace these 75 years yes there has virtually always been some war going on somewhere but they have not grown to cover almost the entire globe and involve the entire human race
And for that we can give thanks to God today, we can give him thanks for service of those who gave their youth, their health, their sanity or their lives to achieve that peace for us. We can give thanks for those who sought to preserve the peace through the many crises that occurred since then.
One of my uncles unlike his brothers including my dad (who saw service in North Africa and Europe) served in Burma and always said he was part of The Forgotten Army, he said when he returned and his ship docked at Liverpool no one came to greet them they just made their way to Lime Street station and get the train home. Even when he got back to Tayport on a Sunday lunchtime he and a couple of army mates went to get a pint in the local hotel before going to his parents, only to be told they could not be served as they were not bona fide travellers!
As we say each and every Armistice Day we will remember them and they will not be the Forgotten Army ever.
Lord God our loving Father in Heaven, the eyes that have seen total war are becoming fewer, the memories are fading but may we who came after them keep that memory bright and in its honour keep the cause of peace alive and thriving.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,