It is 100 years ago this year that the United States entered the First World War on the Allied side. It was a US Senator, Hiram Johnson (1866-1945) of California who in 1917 observed “The first casualty of war is the truth.” Ironically Johnson died on 6th August 1945 the day the Allies dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Johnson’s comment is all too true. Every nation, including our own, use propaganda and what Donald Trump has dubbed “Fake News” to their own advantage.
Lies hold people and nations captive in a web of duplicity, Jesus told his followers “Know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between truth and fiction. The founder of another world wide religion, Buddha is quoted as saying his last words before his death, “I go on searching for truth.” Jesus on the other hand said, “I am the Truth.” (John 14:6) It is in the person of Jesus we see the ultimate truth and the truth Jesus embodies is that God is Love and what he asks of us, his children, is to, “love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) Despite the lengths mankind has throughout the centuries gone to deny it with countless wars, atrocities and the subjugation rather that the liberation of their fellow human beings, the truth remains that God is love and in the end the truth will be revealed that “Three things last forever, faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
On Remembrance Sunday we shall join in the nationwide two minutes silence to commemorate those who have laid down their lives in war in the cause of truth and freedom. But let us not just remember those brave souls for a couple of minutes and then forget till next year. Rather let us resolve to live our lives in the promotion of justice and peace, freedom and truth and may we as Christ’s church work to build a society which will be a fitting legacy to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“At the going down of the sun and in the morning – we will remember them.”