Remembrance 2022: the light shines in the darkness

The Revd Jacob Bali, who served as a guard in the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, reflects on the season of Remembrance. He reminds us that in remembering the horrors of the past, we also remember the assurance we have in Christ.

Remembrance Day of 2022 marks the 104th anniversary of the armistice of the Great War in 1918. We are not glorifying war but remembering.

Remembering how the world trembled and reeled under the weight of the tremendous loss of life, we remember those who gave all that they had so that we may live, we remember the hope that people held on to in the face of great opposition.

Yet, as we march, sing, and hold a moment of silence, the reality is that many have forgotten.

Many have forgotten the power of fear that causes people to make irrational decisions… fear that breeds hate and leads to war. The saying, by George Santayana, a Spanish-born American philosopher, is true and sure: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

For the first-century Jewish people waiting for the Messiah, there had been 400 years since God gave his last message through the prophet Malachi and as the people were suppressed under the occupation of the Roman Empire, Malachi told the people to “remember” (Malachi 4:4-6).

In the midst of their darkness the people were told to remember God’s promises that the darkness will end, the sun will rise, the war will conclude, and the fear will subside.

During this time of year, we also watch as the light of day shortens and the darkness of night lengthens, and we remember that “the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).

As we march, sing, and hold a moment of silence, may we also remember this assurance, that yes, the darkness is great, but there is hope in Christ.

The Revd Jacob Bali as a trooper within the Household Calvary.

Remembrance Prayer

God of peace,
We remember and pray for those who live in places of conflict,
those who are civilians and soldiers in warzones,
those who live everyday with the consequences of war,
those who are refugees and fleeing for their lives,
those who experience conflict at home or at work,
and for those who have the power to negotiate peace.

God of all creation,
We remember and pray for the world, the poor and for prisoners,
Those who are unemployed or homeless,
those who will go without sustenance today,
and for those who have the power to feed them.

God of justice,
We remember and pray for those who have been oppressed,
Those who are victims of crime, whether openly or in secret,
for children and adults who cannot feel safe,
and for those who administer justice.

God of love,
We remember and pray for those we know who are in need,
for those who are ill or housebound,
for the very young and very old,
and for all those who care for those in need.

And we pray for ourselves,
for Faith and Hope and Love to flood our lives,
and for the grace to pass those gifts of God to others.

We ask this in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.


The Revd Jacob Bali is a Special Category Minister within the Southern Synod of The United Reformed Church. He is a military veteran having served in the British Army for four years as a trooper in the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment based at Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge, London. His role included guarding the late Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace, Whitehall as part of the Horse Guards Parade, and visiting heads of state, and taking part in famous public events on horseback and representing the Household Cavalry at military shows.

Image: Simon Godfrey/Unsplash.