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A Space For Song

 

During the last week you may have heard a sound clip of the moments that the guns fell silent on 11th November, 1918. It has been recreated using a graph produced by sound ranging equipment, in use by the Allies to plot where the enemy's artillery was located.

At 10.58 am there is still the sounds of the guns firing, somewhere between a bang and a crash, followed by a “crump” as the shells land. As 11am is reached the sound of gunfire stops followed a few seconds later by the end of the noise of the last shells exploding. The silence even seems unreal now across the century that has passed. And then:- birdsong! All it took for the sounds of beauty and hope to emerge were for those of death and destruction to stop. Sadly the “war to end all wars” didn't. Even before the Second World War started in September 1939 there was never any period when somebody wasn't fighting someone. Yet when we remember those who fought on our behalf, especially those who died, we always pray for peace. We know that we prefer birdsong to the deathly crash of shellfire. So how do we end up in war, a situation where good people end up doing bad things to other good people. Almost certainly because not everybody takes the Gospel message to heart. The example of the widow who gives all she has, not some – all, for the common good is not followed. Instead of showing our love for others by treating them as more important than ourselves, we try to impose our will, to gather in everything we can for our own benefit. In other words, we are greedy. We should pray for an end to war; acts of collective greed using force of arms. We should also do our best to stop committing our own little acts of war and remember how wide our love of neighbour should go.

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