Saturday, 14 November 2015

Paris - City of Darkness

A French soldier stands guard under the Eiffel Tower
        Paris, France, was once called the City of Light.  That is not the case anymore.  Across the city late last night, in cafes, a stadium, and a music hall, over 125 people were killed by eight Muslim extremists carrying Kalashnikov assault weapons and wearing explosive belts which they then detonated.  After French police and soldiers stormed the buildings and killed the terrorists, the final number of casualties* was determined to stand at over 450.  The French President Fran├žois Hollande has declared a state of emergency across the country and mobilized over 1,500 troops to guard the city.  Paris is now a city of darkness. But the darkness comes not just from
                                                                                       deadly attacks.  It also comes from forgetting                                                                                                        the Gospel.

        Over 500 years ago Paris was the place where men like John Calvin and Martin Bucer studied the great doctrines of the Gospel.  It truly was a place which could be called the City of Light - but that light, the light of the Gospel, has been forgotten.  And it has been hidden for too long.  France, as a nation, has forgotten the Cross.  The Islamic State says - indeed, as it has said since times long past - that it will continue to attack the Cross.  But what they miss is the fact that the Cross has been forgotten.  This then is the place where we will stand or fall.

        We must remember the Cross - the Gospel - both now and in the future.  As current and past situations seem to indicate, things will not become better.  This may well be God showing us what happens when we forget Him who gave each of us life.  When are we going to wake up and truly see the desperate need of each individual person who has not trusted in the saving work of Christ?  We know God remains sovereign in the affairs of men, but He has also given us a responsibility to share the Gospel with those who do not know Him.  We must remember that.

        Paris, like everyone who does not know the name of Jesus Christ, is in darkness.  The only thing which can and will utterly destroy the darkness is the light of the Gospel.  The Crescent may seek to attack the Cross, but in the end Christ will triumph.  Pray for those who are affected by the Paris attacks.  Pray for the salvation of souls.  Remember, by the grace of God, I have nothing to fear about where I am going when I die.  What about you?  Can you say the same?  And for you who can, will you seek to share the light of the Gospel with those living in the shadow of fear and death?

Posted and Written by William A. Moore

* 'Casualties' meaning those both killed and wounded.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

'Seas of Red' - Remembrance Day Poem

        Many years ago, after the First World War, a piece of paper came to light.   On it were some hastily scribbled words: “The blood swept lands and seas of red, where angels fear to tread.”
        A young man, from the English county of Derbyshire, had written them down in his will as he, along with many other men, were lying wounded and dying in the fields around Flanders, France.  I recently found them, and using them I wrote a poem for Remembrance Day.
        This year is actually the 100th Anniversary of the writing of "In Flanders Fields" by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrea, and therefore I thought it fitting to remember that timeless piece of poetry with one of my own composition.  I hope it only adds to the depth of feeling and respect elicited by "In Flanders Fields."

'Seas of Red'

Through blood-swept lands and seas of red
Where the angels feared to tread,
Across the sea to mountainside
To the place where many died.

One Hundred years, so long ago
A hundred places, to fight the foe,
Countless men, then standing firm
While those at home, for them yearn.

Fighting for freedom against cruel tyranny
Those heroes died – both for you and me,
Never forget (or let slip away)
The history of those fateful days.

Few men returned, yet those who did
Had only done as they were bid;
The rest now lie in peaceful fields
Their soul to their Maker they did yield.

And as I walk through rows of crosses
Step through the poppies, tread on the mosses,
I always remember – and with bared head – 
The courage of the honoured dead.

Lest We Forget

Written and posted by William A Moore