At the 11th hour, on the 11 Day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice was signed that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I, bringing about peace that had not been felt for several years. Today Armistice Day is no longer about celebrating peace, but it is about remembering those who died in the conflict. On 11 November we use the name Remembrance Day and mark it with ceremonies to remember the Canadian men and women who have lost their lives in war in defence of our freedom. Since confederation approximately 111, 000 Canadian soldiers have died in wars and many more injured. The sacrifices were not in vain and the rights they fought for are outlined in our 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedom. Because of their willingness to stand against oppression we have the freedom to pray whenever we want, read scripture, gather to worship, and tell others about Jesus. These freedoms allow us to enjoy and share the blessings God has given us.
However, since the beginning, there has been an enemy trying to destroy our freedom and the might of all the armies on the earth can never conquer it. Scripture tells us “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 6: 12. Only the sacrifice of Jesus could free us from the grip of Satan’s influence over our mindset. Jesus died to liberate everyone from the worldly or ego-based mindset that separates us from God and that affects our faith in his power and authority over the physical, emotional and financial negativity of life.
On Remembrance Day the bugle call draws people together to reflect on war sacrifices. Bugles had been part of military life and were used to signal daily events that occurred in a soldier’s life – they sounded when it was time to get up, go to bed, time to eat and so on. They were also used in battle to signal movement. Trumpets are symbols of strength in the bible and they are sounded when something significant is about to happen. The book of Revelation reminds us that Christ will return to the earth and bring about peace. We will know that He comes at the sound of the trumpet. Revelations Chapter 8-11 speaks about the 7 Trumpets that will announce the end of time. The first six trumpets are used to serve as a wakeup call to the sinners on Earth and a call to repentance. Each trumpet blast brings with it a plague of a more disastrous nature than the one before it. The seventh trumpet does not bring a plague with it. Rather, it is sounded so that glory is given to God and His kingdom is announced.
On 11 November we remember the sacrifices of those men and women who went to war so that we could have the freedoms we have today. However, their sacrifices are in vain if we do not accept the freedoms given to us by Jesus’ sacrifice. The freedom to make choices that affect our lives, the lives of our families and our community and the freedom of choice that affects our eternity. The freedoms earned by our military can be taken away from us by our government or a foreign aggressor, but the freedom Jesus gave us over sin can never be taken from us.
When you hear the bugle call this Remembrance Day, remember our fallen soldiers and the battle they fought for us. But also remember Jesus’ sacrifice grants us the freedom to choose victory over the oppressive and destructive nature of sin, freedom from falling to temptation and making poor choices that destroy families, marriages, and communities. Jesus’ sacrifice freed us for hopelessness and offered joy and peace of mind. Let’s honour the sacrifices of our military by accepting the gift of Jesus.