Finding peace in conflict

A reflective story for Remembrance

Where is God in times of conflict?

Sometimes there are no easy answers to those big questions that touch the very core of how we understand life and faith - questions such as, 'In wartime, whose side is God on?' When Jesus was asked difficult questions, he often did not give a direct answer. Instead, he told a story. Stories speak to both the mind and the emotions, and they give us space to hear the quiet voice of conscience, or reason - or God - in the spaces between the lines.

Watch a reflective story for Remembrance

A reflective story for Remembrance

Jane Butcher reflective storytelling

Reflective storytelling is a technique used by BRF’s Barnabas in Schools in their work to bring Christianity and the Bible to life in primary schools. Team member Chris Hudson explains: 'It involves telling a story in a way that prompts deeper thinking, asking questions and offering answers.'

We usually think of storytelling as an animated activity. However, using the reflective method the storyteller doesn’t engage with the audience: their focus is directed towards the scene, the characters and the events. As Chris says, 'Reflective storytelling deliberately uses phrases such as "I wonder how it felt?" or "I wonder what it means?" to engage the listener both emotionally and thoughtfully. It doesn’t offer a clear moral at the end, because that can close down the wondering.'

The result can touch very deeply, as members of BRF’s office staff discovered recently when Barnabas in Schools team leader Jane Butcher showed them the video below as an example of a reflective story for Remembrance. Offered to primary school children as part of the Barnabas RE Day topic What Price Peace?, the story explores the battlefields of World War I and considers the place of peace through the real-life story of serving chaplain 'Woodbine Willy'.

Remembrance Day ideas for schools

Remembrance Day ideas for churches

'Like the parables told by Jesus, that rarely concluded with clear explanations, reflective storytelling allows the reflection process to continue long after the story was finished.'

Chris Hudson, Barnabas in Schools team member

Watch the reflective story video

'Is there peace here? There may be peace... right here in the middle of all of this.'

Reflect and pray

Remembrance poppy

'Men signed up to be soldiers to go out and fight.
They left their homes; they travelled a long way.
I wonder what that felt like?
I wonder if they were frightened?
I wonder if some of them thought they were doing the right thing...
Or the wrong thing?
They didn't know when they would be coming back.'

From a Barnabas in Schools reflective story for Remembrance

As you reflect on these words from the Barnabas in Schools reflective story, you might like to:

  • commend those who have sacrificed their lives in bitter conflicts down the years to the love of God and their eternal rest in his kingdom.
  • pray for a just resolution to the conflicts in today’s world, and for peace and security for civilians living in war zones.

You might also like to read this popular Armistice centenary reflection based on Sally Welch’s reflection in New Daylight on Sunday, 11 November 2018.