As we have just commemorated Armistice day I was reflecting on the first Word War and the terrible toll it took on human lives. Something like 22 million soldiers and civilians were killed. Before 1914 there had been a massive build-up of military power in Europe and it was almost as if the European nations were looking for an excuse to try out their armies and military hardware. When the Archduke Ferdinand was murdered at Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 this was the excuse they had been waiting for. Young men on both sides were itching to fight and excitedly joined the queues to sign up.

The whole war was a very costly exercise in foolishness and futility. So many returned feeling disillusioned and dejected. In fact, the First World War had a devastating effect on the Christian faith of so many. So called Christian nations had gone to war against each other believing that God was on their side and when they encountered the grueling atrocities and suffering of those 4 horrible years they could not understand how God could allow this to happen and so many of them threw their faith overboard.

The War and all wars are not caused by God. They are caused by human sinful beings who have chosen to reject God’s way of peace and love and gone down the path of hatred and violence. We all have a choice to do the same. To choose God’s will and God’s way of righteous, love, peace and justice or the way of proud, selfish greedy man which always leads to sadness, suffering and death.

Contributed by Geoff Follas