Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What are we remembering?

I have trouble with Remembrance Day.

What I remember is not what most Canadians are remembering.

I remember that my father immigrated from Germany before the Second World War and worked on farms in Southwestern Ontario. These family farmers had sons in the Canadian military, doing their best to kill German soldiers, one of them my uncle. They got him.

Dad was hale, healthy and safe German working on Canadian farms while others were in great danger in war zones. 

I remember learning about God's commitment to Israelites, teaching them to trust that he would defeat their enemies. Whole enemy armies were wiped out without the Israelites using any of their weapons.

Christians are asked to love their enemies and to do good to those who hate them.

Where is that message on Remembrance Day?

All of the honours I read in two daily newspapers today glorify soldiers who died in battle.

There is not a single reference to those who spoke out for peace, not even in the Waterloo Region Record which is in the midst of a pacifist Mennonite community. There are no stories about the Mennonites who refused to fight and were consigned to labour camps.

Would God have intervened to protect people from Hitler? We will never know because we took matters into our own hands. It seems we felt we didn't need God.

And that seems to be the message today when we Canadians spend billions on arms, send our soldiers to Iraq to destroy ISIS fighters and fret about Russian aggressions.

Many claim to be Christians, but lack prayer and confidence that God cares more for his people than we ever will, including those we deem enemies.

I have trouble with Remembrance Day because I think it sends wrong messages.