A week ago today, the nation showed its respect and gratitude for those who served in Afghanistan at a service in St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Many military personnel attended while crowds gathered outside to express solidarity with those who fought and with their families.
453 died in that long conflict with many casualties, some of their injuries only too obvious as they walked into the Church.
Helmand province is, we hear, a safer and better place to live.
In a fallen world, such military action is inevitable with the resulting cost in terms of lives lost and disabilities sustained.
On Sunday, we enter that period in the season of Lent known as Passiontide.
Jesus set his face to walk towards Jerusalem, aware of his fate.
His mission was to confront the spiritual powers of darkness with only the weapons of innocence, service and sacrificial love.
His task was to demonstrate God’s unbreakable love for all people in this fallen world. God could not show such love in any other way than by the cost of his Son’s life.
We are tempted to think that Jesus’ victory over death and evil was achieved on Easter Day.
It was on the Cross, in agony and dereliction, that Jesus showed the power of love, as he remained faithful to God and us.
Easter Day simply demonstrates that “the strife is o’er, the battle done, now is the victor’s triumph won”. Jesus is the life over which death and evil have no power.
The empty Cross symbolises God’s appeal to win our hearts and minds for Him.