Chapter 146 [day 238]: Wednesday 11 November
Good morning all on this Armistice Day
According to Wikipedia, an armistice is a formal agreement of warring parties to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, as it may constitute only a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace.
You are no doubt aware that this Armistice Day remembers the time when an armistice was signed in a railway carriage in a secret location just outside the French town of Compiegne by Germany and the Allies at 5:00am on 11 November 1918 which came into effect later that morning at 11:00am – hence the tradition of the 2 minutes silence at 11am. At that time, gunfire from both sides ceased and surviving soldiers from the trenches of the Somme reported an eerie silence spread across the countryside. Sadly though, fighting had continued through the morning right up to the 11 o’clock deadline resulting in 10,944 more casualties and 2,738 men from both sides dying on that last day of the hostilities.
Matthias Erzberger, chief negotiator for the Germans had been in secret discussions with the Allies for 3 days prior to 11 November, but he knew that if he signed the armistice paper, his life would be in danger from far right German nationalists who regarded him as a traitor. Sure enough, 3 years later he was assassinated whilst out for a walk in the Black Forest although his assassins were only finally brought to justice 25 years later after the end of WW2.
So ‘Armistice’ is neither real ‘peace’ nor ‘victory’ – it’s merely a pause in hostilities to try to agree who is the real victor. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? American Presidential election result / Brexit negotiations / Scottish independence, etc. etc. and some security ‘experts’ are increasingly concerned that major conflict could return across Europe with the rise of far-right groups in so many European countries.
Real peace only comes when there is complete surrender and that is certainly true in our spiritual lives. True repentance is the only way to restore relationship with Father God – admitting our failing and allowing Christ’s forgiveness and peace to come into our lives.
A spiritual armistice would be desiring peace whilst still trying to hold on to the things that we know are against God, but because of our selfish pride, we are reluctant to let go and submit to God.
James 4:7 - Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Hymnalong >>> ALL TO JESUS (I Surrender all)
· Chris Brookes had a consultation yesterday which revealed a change in her Lymphoma meaning she will have to resume chemotherapy treatment sessions starting from next Tuesday. Chris would especially appreciate your prayers over the next weeks.
· We reported last week that Mike & Linda Smith would be unable to travel to Norfolk for Mike’s sister’s funeral, but arrangements have now been made so they are going today.
· If you were unable to watch our Remembrance service last Sunday morning, you can watch it this day, Remembrance Day from 10:30 >>> https://falconlodgechapel.sermon.net/21685737
· Don’t forget the BCM Toylink appeal which was highlighted in our previous email. Each November we normally hold a ‘Toylink Service’ at which we donate NEW toys to Birmingham City Mission to be presented to needy children for Christmas. Here’s more information about BCM’s Toylink project including what toys are suitable >>> https://www.birminghamcitymission.org.uk/christmas-toylink/ There are also alternative options of either ordering a toy online and have it delivered direct to BCM, or you could make a cash donation to the Toylink project via https://www.give.net/toylink We will provisionally designate Sunday 6 December as our Toy Service Day for you to bring your gifts - subject of course to us being able to resume services by that day. If you are unable to attend on that day for any reason, let us know and we will organise to collect the toy from you.
· We are planning to collect and distribute your Chapel Christmas cards as normal. If we are able to resume Chapel services by Sunday 6 December, the usual Christmas postbox will be available for you to deposit your cards. We will then organise to safely and hygienically sort the cards for distribution the following Sunday. This will be repeated the following Sunday, and for those Chapel members who are still shielding and unable to come to the Chapel, we will deliver cards to you as well as collect any cards you wish to send.
For our virtual service next Sunday, we will be resuming the Discipleship Explored course in Philippians where the topic this week will be ‘Righteous in Christ’. It emphasises that our righteousness before God is not found in what we DO for God, but rather is what Christ has already DONE for us at Calvary. Join us online on Sunday morning to hear more.