Summary: When Jesus decided we were worth dying for, there were many caught in the crossfire.
“Worth Dying For”
Remembrance Day Service
Today is a day that needs little help in terms of explanation or description. The sacrifice of Canadian troops, along with allied nations, fighting for the freedom of the world, is not hard to understand. What is difficult to grasp is the price paid. We cannot appreciate the living conditions of the trenches. Our minds cannot grasp the horrors that live in the minds of soldiers to this day. We must not forget the 60,000 plus Canadian soldiers of World War I and the 45,300 Canadian soldiers of World War II, who gave their lives in battle. We must not forget the world wide casualties of World War II where the war took 62.5 million (62,537,400) lives. The civilian count was catastrophic as the count of deaths numbered 75% more civilians than soldiers. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties)
“Lest we forget” – the slogan that accompanies the poppy is most appropriate. We must never forget. To forget is to commit a ghastly act against the many lives caught in the crossfire of bloody battle and the troops who fought to protect our freedoms.
This is also a time to remember present World War battles of another sort. It is the world’s war against terrorism. An October 28, 2009 report states that Afghanistan, so far, took the lives of 132 Canadian soldiers during their tour of duty since 2002.
(http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/afghanistan/casualties/list.html) 26 of those fallen are listed as 2009 casualties of war, to whom we will pay a special memorial in a few moments.
I never enter this time of remembrance without the story of another “fallen soldier” flooding my mind. He waged a war of unsurpassed sacrifice, even when we put all the suffering and deaths of every war together. His anguish and sacrifice deserves its own recognition “lest we forget” and the world forgets. Too many have never even heard about it – or Him. Just as it is unconscionable to consider forgetting the sacrifice and death of soldier and civilian lives during the world wars and the ongoing terrorism war, it is equally a grave travesty and dishonor to His service and sacrifice if we let ourselves forget. I am speaking of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
What do we know about him? How do we approach conversation concerning him? He existed, there’s no doubt about that. But the controversy of his claims and his placement in the Christian church is another entirely different story.
For many, he is
1. A Respected Man with Religious Influence
One of his close advisors and trusted friends was Matthew. He records the fireside casual for us. “13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14"Well," they replied, "some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets." (Matthew 16:13-14)
Reverend Dr. Mark Roberts, a pastor, author and retreat leader, cites the Barna Research group in relation to startling discoveries in American research, much of which fits the Canadian climate. Roberts quotes Barna as saying, “only 4% of American adults have a biblical worldview. This worldview centers around belief that absolute truth exists, and this truth can be found in the Bible.” Roberts continues, “Perhaps the most unsettling finding of Barna’s study was that only 9% of born again Christians have a biblical worldview. That is to say, only 9% of those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior and committed their life to him have learned to think as he thought.”