Sunday 11th November was Remembrance Day. This year marks 100 years since the First World War finally came to an end. On this day we remember all of the men and women who have died whilst serving their country during times of war.
All throughout November the Church remembers those who have died and prays for them. The month begins with All Saints Day where we remember all of the Saints and think about how we can follow their example of ordinary people living as God asked them to. For the rest of the month it is a time for reflection and prayer and we are continuing with this in our prayer resources this week.
We will be thinking about why we look back on the past, why it is important to remember where we come from and what we can learn from this to take into the future. We will remember those who have laid down their life for others out of love, just as Jesus asked us to. There will be a chance to collect some of our own special memories so that we can hold on to them and learn from them and we will also learn more about the poppies that help us to remember the sacrifice that others have made for us.
Think carefully this week about the good things that we can take from the past into our futures. What can we learn? What will we remember? What will we do to follow Jesus and give our life to others?
If you would like to reflect on some more of the scriptures related to this topic then you can use some of the scripture references below.
Most of these are taken from Open Bible and, using their Topical Bible Search facility, you can find lots more ideas!
Click here for the Music Resource
This song was sung by the soldiers who went away from their homes, family and friends to fight for a better future.
They sang this song to help them remember why they had gone away and why they were at war.
Work together as a Class to write a poem about the things that you would remember about your community, your friends and your school.
Think about all of your senses, what sounds, smells and sights you would want to remember, and of course which lovely foods!
Post your poems in the comments box at the bottom of the page so that other Schools and Classes can see what you would try to remember.
Click here for the Picture Resource
Do you know what it shows?
Where was it taken?
What is all the red that you can see in the picture?
Say this prayer together for all the people who have given up their lives for others:
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Click here for the Action
Part of the importance of remembering is to make sure that we don’t forget all of the great things that have happened in the past.
Funny moments that we have shared with friends, difficult challenges that we made it through, wonderful people that we have met – these are all part of our future and we don’t want to forget what has brought us to this point in our lives today.
Everyone needs one sheet of paper each.
On your piece of paper draw or write a great memory that you have and you don’t want to forget. It could be a fun experience you have had or a valuable lesson that you have learnt or a brilliant achievement. Make sure you explain it clearly.
Once you are all finished bring all of your pieces of paper together to create a memory book for your Class. Someone can make a front cover for it too!
You might decide to have your book on display in your classroom so you can all look through it or, you could hide your memory book away until later in the year when you can get it out and look through to find all the great memories that you might otherwise have forgotten.
Click here for the Video Resource
It can seem strange to look back on the past and to remember the things that have not always gone right but in this video clip from The Lion King we learn why this is actually a really important thing to do.
Simba the lion has made some mistakes in the past but Rafiki explains to him the choice he has.
Whatever has happened in the past we can always learn from it. It might be a painful lesson to learn at the time but it can teach us something important for our future.
For example, if we touch something very hot we might get burnt. This will be painful at the time but it will teach us not to touch a very hot object again in the future.
How did you react in the past?
Would you behave differently now that you have learnt something from it?
Help us to not make the same mistakes again and to take something positive from our experiences.
Click here for the Scripture Resource
Today’s scripture is from John’s Gospel where Jesus tells his disciples the way to live their lives.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
(Glory to you O Lord.)
I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them.
The Gospel of the Lord.
(Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.)
Just as we can learn from our own past experiences we can also learn a lot from the lives of other people.
One man who followed Jesus’ teachings about love was Saint Maximilian Kolbe.
As you can see, Maximilian Kolbe was a very brave and loving man. He gave up his life for a stranger that he didn’t know and showed great love, just as Jesus asked us to.
The example of Maximilian tells us a lot about how we should live our lives.
Have you ever had to be brave? Did you find it easy or difficult?
How could you give your life to your friends? Could you spend time with them? Could you be a good listener? Could you help them?
Saint Maximilian Kolbe died during the Second World War so there are still people alive today that knew him. He was an ordinary man who chose to live his life in a way that showed great love to others.
We can all make that same choice too. There are ways that we can all show love to others and that we can give our lives to our friends just like many of the Saints did.
Join together and say this special prayer.
Thank you for Saints who come in all shapes and sizes.
At times we too can all behave like Saints by being kind, putting others first, or helping someone in need.
Help us to inspire and encourage each other.