Remembrance Day

FFF 13:9 (Nov 1967)

Remembrance Day

Ernest B. Sprunt

He was only eight years old and so did not understand the significance of November 11th. He knew nothing of the great war which ended on that date in 1918. In his Ontario school he had heard the teacher speaking of Remembrance Day and he concluded that it must be a time to do something special for someone who should not be forgotten.

That is why he made the folder of heavy white paper. On the front cover he neatly printed the words, Remembrance Day Greetings. Then he drew a cross, a stout one, such as might be seen as a cenotaph or a grave-marker. Around the base of the monument he drew some bright red poppies, coloring them carefully with his pencil crayons. He had seen something of the design on the posters displayed at his school.

Inside the folder was his message. It read:

Dear Father;

Thank you for the gift you sent me. I still remember you and hope for you to come back soon.

Love,
Douglas.

It would never have been given an award by the directors of the Hallmark Greeting Card Company, but to a father separated from his loved ones that little card was priceless. Its message meant so much to him!

To us the card could be an object lesson illustrating the value that our Lord places on our worship. For the believers, Remembrance Day comes, not once a year, but on the first day of every week. It is an opportunity for sending a message to our Beloved One who is absent.

The first thing about the card to attract attention was the cross. When we come together to break bread, our prime attraction is the Cross of Calvary. We gather to show forth the Lord’s death, and we meditate upon His suffering and His sacrifice.

But in our feast, there is also a remembrance of His burial, even as the boy’s card showed a tombstone. Yes, our blessed Saviour stooped low into death for us, and then His body rested for three days in a new tomb.

The young artist did not know that the poppies of Flanders fields were said to have brighter blooms because they had been nourished by the blood of thousands of fallen soldiers. The flowers seem to speak of life out of death. In our service of remembrance, we rejoice in One who is risen again from among the dead. His tomb is empty. He has ascended in glorious triumph.

As we worship and remember Him, what is the message that we send heavenward? Surely, like the lad, we are thankful to our Heavenly Father for His great gift to us. We are grateful for the sacrifice which cost God so much and which procures so much for us.

The bread which we break, and the wine which we sip, are symbolic of the broken body and the shed blood of our Lord. They are the reminders of His death for us. By the very taking of these emblems we are sending a message to Him, telling Him that we still remember. How this must gladden His heart!

I recall a little fellow a few years ago sending a letter to his Daddy who had been away from home and in far off Alaska for two months. The letter, in part, said, “I do not quite remember what you look like.” Why did the boy not remember? Because it had been so long since last he had been in his father’s presence. What a tragedy when we fail to discern the Lord’s presence because we have been so long out of touch with Him! During the week we should be continually seeking His face. Then we will have no trouble in remembering Him on the Lord’s Day.

When we partake of the Lord’s supper we send yet another message heavenward. Cloaked in the language of the little boy, we say, in effect, “We hope for You to come back soon.” “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death, till He come.” What a blessed hope!

By our remembrance of the Lord we give Him expression of our love. The father was delighted with the one word that closed his boy’s note. Love! We do not need flowery language or a multitude of words to express our affection for the Lord. Peter could say, in all sincerity, “Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee!” This is the expression of the heart when in the presence of our Beloved Saviour and Friend.

Often we are occupied alone with the breaking of the bread, and with the blessing we get out of the meeting. Actually, the purpose of our coming to break bread is that He might receive from us thanksgiving, praise and love. How much that means to the One who once was despised and rejected of men!