I have my father’s old “slouch hat” he wore as a 19-year-old. He joined up with a few of his school mates late in WW2. They trained together and later decided they would all volunteer with the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces (BCOF), going to Japan to demilitarize and begin rebuilding the nation. They were not interested in politics; they were only looking for adventure and a free trip overseas!
Dad often spoke of visiting Hiroshima and de-mobilising the Japanese Forces. But when he told his stories, Dad more often spoke of his mates and the team spirit instilled in them by their military training. There was no place in the Army for individualism. It was the sense of team that enabled so much to be done, often by very small numbers. This did not mean they blindly ‘followed the leader’. They were encouraged to contribute ideas and use their individual skills when undertaking tasks. But it was the team that gave Dad so many good memories while surrounded by the destructive effects of the war.
On Tuesday we will gather to watch our Ex-Service and Service personnel marching in our communities. These people rarely worked as individuals – they were part of a team. This reminds me of the team God has built and is building at here at Windsor Road. In a community which promotes individualism, God calls us to work as a team (Rom 12:4-5). He has equipped and gifted this team with amazing skills and abilities. As each of us individually display the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22-23), we also add the gifts God has given us to the wider team (1 Cor 12), serving together, that our community may come to know Jesus.
Lest we Forget.