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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

20 May 2015: Sylvia Roberts, St Peter's


During the recent interminable election campaign I did not hear the word 'sacrifice' once. I heard the word before 7 May around the time of Easter: 'Christ has been sacrificed for us therefore let us celebrate the festival not with the old yeast of malice and evil but with unleaven bread of sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians chapter 5).

I also heard it on the very next day on the 8 May as the 70th anniversary of VE Day was marked and honoured. A small crown of Britons and Germans gathered at the Petersfield was memorial and heard the words 'Let us remain in silence for a moment as we remember those who made the supreme sacrifice and commend their souls to God'.

Christians recognise the sacrifice of Christ on the cross as an essential part of the foundation of our faith and therefore an enormously admiral thing. It is in and through the sacrifice and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ that the Christian hope lies and it is on this hope that the church is founded.

In this country, as in many others, we have special days of remembrance and thanksgiving for the sacrifice made for us in times of war. They made that sacrifice so that those coming after them might enjoy freedom and peace.

So it would seem that the majority of people consider sacrifice to be estimable and worthy of deep regard and gratitude. So why did I hear no politician using that powerful word? Why did I hear little about giving and a lot about getting?

The language of sacrifice inspired us so much in times of war. I would like my spirits to be lifted by a similar vision today. Each political party insists that they wish to govern for the good of the whole country but winning seems to been seen as the only means to further this.

Jesus did not appear to 'win' on the cross. The families of those who died in war would not consider them to have 'won'. Yet who is ultimately more influential, inspiring and worthy of respect?

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