Sunday, 9 November 2008

For Remembrance Sunday

On Remembrance Sunday, I was reminded of a haunting poem by First World War poet Wilfred Owen, A Soldier's Dream:

I dreamed kind Jesus fouled the big-gun gears;
And caused a permanent stoppage in all bolts;
And buckled with a smile Mausers and Colts;
And rusted every bayonet with His tears.

And there were no more bombs, of ours or Theirs,
Not even an old flint-lock, not even a pikel.
But God was vexed, and gave all power to Michael;
And when I woke he'd seen to our repairs.
Today I heard again that almost 20,000 British soldiers alone died in the Battle of the Somme. It almost drove me to tears thinking of a number equivalent to the entire student population of the two Lancaster universities lost in battle. I can almost imagine the cries of pain from the heart of God as humanity tears itself apart; longing for the day when evil is silenced and justice has the last word in the Universe. This day will come. The Bible looks forward to a time when war will - at last - end:
They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation,neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)

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