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 Today we are honouring Remembrance Day. The origin of which dates back to the war to end all wars.  The dream was that it would be the last war, that lives would be changed for the better and never again be torn apart by conflict.  That dream did not pan out. But as we recall the horrors that war inflicted, we are also mindful that it was the necessity of war that brought women from home to factory and the front lines and sparked off the journey towards women’s rights. It was caring for those who lived through the horrors of war that brought to light the need for a right to healthcare.  It was on the backs of all those who brought peace… that our world could rebuild itself into something better, something new. In Jesus’ time we know that people lived in a world of terror and occupation, they knew war and they knew uncertainty.  They were occupied by Rome now and had in their history known the despaired and grieved the loss of the their holy temple in the Babylonian invasion. Ongoing devastation and change, but the people drew hope from the rebuilding of Jerusalem and particularly the temple of Jerusalem.  The holy temple, rebuilt by king Herod was said to being even better than the original.  In our gospel today we see as the disciples looked out over the great temple of Jerusalem.  A symbol of their nation and all that they had accomplished as a people despite the many changes and challenges forced upon them.  The disciples saw how large and impressive the temple was, how the walls are covered in gold and how the stones were larger than a grown man.  And they reflected to one another surely, this time, it would last forever.   And Jesus said to them…. Do not trust in the work of human hands…no matter the vision set before you.  The days will come when not one stone of even this impressive edifice will be left on another. Jesus goes on to speak of dangerous leaders that will lead many astray.  Of wars and uprisings, of nations in riot and at war, and of kingdoms pitted against each other.  He speaks of natural disasters, famine and plague, and all manner of dreadful things.  All of which had happened before, and all of which will happen again.  The people of God have always faced challenge and change: From worshiping many gods to the covenant of Abraham with the one God… from being a nomadic people who worshiped God with them as they traveled, to an urban people who travelled from far and wide to worship at the temple in Jerusalem…the only place God was understood to dwell. To having that temple destroyed and their people scattered and trying to keep faith in a strange and foreign land. Then returning and creating the temple anew…attempting to make what was even grander than ever it had been. Then destruction again as Jesus says in our gospel today when the Roman’s destroyed the temple, the people of God were scattered and a new Judaism began to evolve focused on the synagogue and lay people rather than temple priests and sacrifice. Ever evolving, ever changing, through devastation and intentional efforts of their enemies to obliterate their race and faith…the Jewish people are still a people of faith. Christianity too has gone through many incarnations…from persecution, to political power and empire to disenfranchisement and whatever we have now.  Yet still we see the incarnate God living within us walking with us through the changing times.  We are now in another time of transition.  We see the world of Luke’s gospel around us, chaos and the end of the church that was, but we also see opportunities.  Both in Jesus’ words: “This will give you an opportunity to testify…. for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.” Also in Isaiah’s: “For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight.” And also in our history which we remember this day, when we remember the changes that transpired for good in the wake of devastation and the determination of those who survived to make this world a better place. We have a God given opportunity before us.  The bishop has formally approved the coming together of St Andrew and St. Chad and although we have gained much and lost little it is incumbent upon us not to forget what St. Chad’s has lost. There has been and there will be much change, perhaps not a new heaven and earth, but certainly a new St. Andrew. And there will be new opportunities to speak God’s word and live God’s mission.  To grow through the change and the trauma so that we can testify to God’s presence in the world.   To work hard, not in a vain struggle to maintain a crumbling edifice, but to actively build up a new creation. Just like those we remember those on the home front who stepped up and took on new tasks and learned new skills in order to benefit all.  So too, Paul exhorts us to be of benefit to all. In second Thessalonians Paul commands us to not live off the backs of others but step up.  Paul calls to mind the example that he, and those who ministered with him set; working continually so that the community wouldn’t bear the additional burdens caused by their presence.   So, that everyone would be encouraged to contribute to the common ministry and the common good. We as members of the body of Christ, ancestors in faith of those first Christians are also called not to be idle, but active.  To work quietly and fearlessly in order to ensure that the blessings we enjoy today, privileges others fought so hard and bled so willingly to ensure, are available for all. Never forgetting that those freedoms were won by not only young white men, but by women and people of many and differing backgrounds, indigenous soldiers, and our elders keeping us safe at home, by those who were able to fight in the field and those who fought at the desks, by those who were gay and straight, and of many religions and creeds as well as those with none at all. Remembrance Day is not a religious holiday, it is a national one, but how we respond to Remembrance Day must reflect the Lord whom we follow and who gave his life to bring life to all people.  To this Paul spoke clearly when he said…Brothers and sister, do not be weary in doing what is right. That is what so many of those whose deaths we remember this day died doing…they died doing what they believed was right.  So it is right and good to recall their sacrifice to mind and to recall their purpose…to bring about a world of justice in the midst of change and challenge. And that drive continues with us, not as soldiers per say but as followers of Christ who are committed to bringing about the Kingdom of God.  A kingdom where Remembrance Day is no longer needed to remind us to keep up the good fight, because in God’s Kingdom peace and justice reign. For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; says the Lord…no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it or the cry of distress.  No more shall there be an infant that lives but a few days or an old person that does not live out a lifetime.  There will be peace and security, safety and prosperity, there will be Godly community…even the wolf and the lamb will live together. Predator and prey no longer. This is what those we remember today fought for.  This is the goal and this is the promise; that the world as it is, is not the world as it should be, yet there is a new world being created and we have an active role in it’s creation.   Together, with our sisters and brothers to work hard and change what was into something more.  Something that better reflects the new creation of God, and all that has been sacrificed for that new creation. We remember the promises given and the sacrifices made by God to bring his kingdom to life…so that no longer will we hurt or destroy.  We remember the people who fought for the principles God’s kingdom will bring about and we remember Paul’s words that, regardless of the many changes we endure, we must never become weary in doing what is right. amens