Dreary skies, biting winds, fallen leaves, frozen earth and daylight fading into the gathering dark of winter. Creation itself reflects the solemn grief of those who will gather on this day to remember the dead sacrificed in the tragic history of human warfare. On this Remembrance Day, let us remember them all, friend and foe alike.
Of course, mournful memory is as old as humankind. The first century world was scarred by greed and violence just as ours. The Thessalonian Christians were every bit as vulnerable to death and grief as you and I, though they may have been even less prepared for it than we are.
Some 20 years after the risen Jesus’ ascension, believers expecting his second coming during their lifetime began, unexpectedly, to die. Apostle Paul addresses their unforeseen crisis of faith. He assures the faithful that our dearly remembered loved ones have not been forgotten by God. He affirms the promise of our Lord’s return and envisions all those buried under the stone cold ground of death returning with the risen Jesus to renewed companionship in the “remembered” humanity of God’s whole and holy new creation in Christ.
Therefore, let us encourage one another with these words.
Ever-living God, confirm our faith in the wake of death, that we may grieve with hope, and our hope may comfort others in their grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen — PL