Perspectives by Rev. Geoff Howard


Going forward, we remember

Over the last couple of weeks we as a nation have been angered and outraged. We have been saddened and disheartened. We have been astounded and dumfounded. We have been proud and patriotic. We have been reminded what is really important, and we have been encouraged to hug our spouse and children and grandchildren.

Some have spoken about a corporate Canadian loss of innocence. We have heard about home grown terrorists. We have seen divisions over the effectiveness of our political, social, and religious institutions. It seems in some ways our very way of life has been attacked and compromised. 

We mourn the loss of Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent. We uphold in our thoughts and prayers their families and those whose lives have been drastically and forever changed.

And yet for most of us as these headlines faded into yesterday’s news we got back to life as normal.  From the distance most of us have to these events, once the initial shock and horror subsides it is business as usual. So we go back to doing what we do. Maybe changed in some ways but resigned to the realization that these are the facts of life in the world in which we live. 

As Remembrance Day rolls around once again maybe this year’s remembering will be a little bit different. Take the opportunity to remember for it is a bit more real this year. 

Maybe we will have a slightly deeper sense of how this all does touch our lives and the lives of our families and friends and communities. 

What we have has been attacked and threatened and compromised. And the sacrifice of those who gave of themselves in the past, in the long ago, in recent events of our world, in days just gone by, and those who will continue to serve and give of themselves into the future may give us something more to remember and to live for and commit ourselves to. 

We cannot go on as though these things never happened. We have all been changed by these events. We can ponder and lament and mourn, or we can remember and keep remembering and can go forward and make a difference. Living in ways that declare that the sacrifices have been recognized and have become a part of who and what we are here and now and a part of what we carry into tomorrow. 

Long ago, Paul writing to a community in some chaos and confusion in Rome put it this way: Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-20

May this be our act of remembering.


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