GS 1983 art 65

GS 1983 ARTICLE 65Reopening

The chairman requests to sing Psalm 76:1, 2, 3, reads Revelation 16 and leads in prayer.

Al the occasion of Remembrance Day, he addresses Synod as follows:

“Today is the eleventh of November, the day on which we remember those who gave their lives in the course of the wars that were fought in this century. These wars are numerous, and we are appalled at their number when we recall at least some of them.

There is the First World War, there is the Second World War. We could mention the civil war in China, resulting in the withdrawal of the nationalist forces from the mainland and establishing themselves on Formosa, now Taiwan; the misery in Nigeria and Biafra, the strife in Rhodesia which became Zimbabwe; add Korea, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Granada, Nicaragua, and so on. Was there ever a year in which the guns fell silent and in which the horse and its rider were still?

Remembering those who fell, we ask at the same time the question, “What was the fruit of their wounds, their pain, their sacrifices, their death?”

Yes, we ourselves are the beneficiaries: would we have been here if not the men and the boys from this side of the Atlantic Ocean had come and had given their all for the liberation of Europe, of the Lowlands by the sea?

We thank our God for the mercy bestowed upon us by giving us our freedom back. When looking at the Eastern part of Europe, we are reminded of other possibilities as well: We, too, could have been sighing under the Russian boot and have exchanged the one oppression for the other. Our gracious God has kindly spared us such an ordeal. Let us use the opportunities given, and remember our brotherhood in the world.

It is to be feared that further punishment will come down upon the human race, seeing that the sins grow and the iniquity increases. This has been foretold, for as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be in the days of the Son of man.

We know. however, that all this will happen as a prelude to the appearing of our blessed God and Saviour. Let us, while looking back and remembering. at the same time look forward with great longing, as we say it in our Belgic Confession:

“Therefore we expect that great day with a most ardent desire, to the end that we may fully enjoy the promises of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The chairman requests Synod to rise and sing the National Anthem “O Canada” is sung.

Roll call is held.