We Remember- Ian Bertram, 20/1/19

We Remember:

Today’s gospel reading calls to us to value the dignity of others above our own wants and desires. It calls us to act in the interests of others rather than applying some ‘principles’ that we may choose to hold. It calls us to be hypocrites, holding sometimes mutually exclusive views dependent upon the company we are with and the situation in which we find ourselves. The ultimate question for Jesus was not, “is this right?’, but rather “is this right here and now for whom I am with?”

In our service this morning we also remembered three events- the celebration of Australia Day (Jan 26), the solemn mourning of that same day for Indigenous first people, and the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp during the Second World War (Jan 27).

The women survivors of Auschwitz call us to “please remember”. They join voices with our Indigenous brothers and sisters, calling us to learn from our history. It is only in remembering that we can avoid the terrible tragedies of the past.

Remembering the consequences of hate helps us to avoid hateful, indiscriminate acts of violence on the innocent.

Remembering the consequences of uncontrolled nationalism will steel us to resist racism and xenophobia, and the sometimes rash and stupid statements and actions of politicians and leaders.

Remembering violent colonialism will help us respect other people, their right to land and custom. We join with these brave women survivors and commit ‘to remember.’