Tuesday, November 8, 2011
This Friday will be 11.11.11 (11 November, 2011). At eleven seconds after eleven minutes past eleven it will be 11.11.11am on 11.11.11. Now I'm not a big fan of the significance of numbers, but the 11th of November each year is known as Remembrance Day because at 11:00am we pause for two minutes silence to remember those who died in war.
Remembrance Day was instituted to remember the signing of the armistice on 11 November 1918, the event that formally ended the First World War.
World War I was a terrible war, ironically called ‘the war to end all wars’. Many thousands of young men lost their lives in seemingly pointless battles in the trenches of northern France.
Tens of thousands were killed in places such as Ypres, The Somme, Passchendaele and Fromelles . In the battle of The Somme, some 58,000 British troops were killed on the first day alone. It was carnage on a massive scale.
It is estimated that some ten million men were killed in the war. So many men of marriagable age were wiped out that after the war they became known as The Missing Generation. It was much harder for women to marry because of the shortage of eligible men. The social consequences were significant.
Today we have another Missing Generation. It is a missing generation of young men and women who are missing from the church and the cause of Christ. Congregations are getting older, and are literally dying off, with many fewer young adults to replace them. Surveys in the UK and Australia show the same trend.
We have a rising generation of young people who may never have been to church (except for a wedding or a funeral), who have not read anything much of the Bible, and who have never clearly heard or experienced the life changing gospel of Christ. Their image of Christianity, and church in particular, is often one of being irrelevant, and out of touch with the real world.
This Missing Generation are a harvest field to be reached for the gospel of Christ. Let us not forget them.
So this November 11th will you pause to pray for the Missing Generation, for those that need to hear the gospel? Will you remember them?
1. Always hope
2. Why Innovation is needed in church life
3. ANZAC Day Reflection
4. Asking the hard questions