8th November 2018

The Chimes of Hope

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39 (NJKV)

On the 11th of November this year, up and down the land, church bells will ring in commemoration of the signing of the armistice that ended World War 1. It is a poignant and significant landmark in the history of Europe. It is impossible for most of us to really know how it must have felt a hundred years ago when the bells rang out to proclaim the cessation of fighting. For four long years, young men on all sides, sons, husbands and fathers, went to feed an insatiable war machine and hardly any family was not affected by the brutality of those times.

Amongst my most precious possessions are some of the letters that my grandfather sent to his young wife, Edith. They speak of the unbearable separation that they felt. In a beautiful letter sent just before he went up to the front line, he says, ‘How hard it is for us to be separated we love each other so dearly, you and Dorothy [their baby daughter] are everything in this world to me. We can only put our whole trust in God who has done so much for us already.’ Although wounded and taken prisoner, my grandfather survived the war, but of course tragically so many did not.

The bells that tolled in November 1918 signaled a hope for millions of families still separated. For them it was the beginning of the end and they were at last able to believe they could again see their loved ones. As we pause for silence on Remembrance Day, we also think of the families who had lost their dearest, separated by death.

The victory of Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection, is the great hope of the Christian faith. The bells have rung out, the end is in sight and the separation that we can sometimes now feel, will be a thing of the past when He returns to bring everlasting peace to this war-weary world.

Father in Heaven, separation from loved ones causes great sorrow and pain. We thank you that not only pain and sorry will be banished at your return, but separation, as we are reunited at the resurrection.

Study by John Gent


About the Author:
John Gent attends Nottingham Grace Communion.

Local Congregation:
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Richard White

Email: nottingham@gracecom.church

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