Reflection

Dear Friends,

As you know this year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of theFirst World War—the war that was to end all wars. When I think of all those lives lost or changed for ever, families devastated, and the horrors that raged for four years my heart feels a roller coaster of emotions. Huge waves of sadness and peaks of pride in, and thankfulness to those who laid down their lives for our freedom. It didn’t stop there though.

The Second War also saw devastation, torture, ethnic cleansing suffered in order to preserve freedom and justice. Yet it still goes on. Of course, many of the scars and divisions we suffer are the result not of conventional warfare, but of the cruel and destructive violence of global terrorism. Then there is the ’hidden’ disruption of cyber attacks. The world doesn’t feel a very safe place when we stop and think and it seems to me we would rather ’not know’ and put our heads in the sand as a peaceable life is eroded by the ambitions built on greed for power and possessions. We can see the seeds of this even in our own town and villages—life itself seems to be of little value to so many.

 

We need to hear the words of Christ right now, amongst continuing conflicts and fragile peace,  and look to the hope of Christ’s peaceful kingdom, as well as the imagination and resilience to go on, and on, praying for peace and working for reconciliation.

On Remembrance Sunday we look back in sorrow for all those who suffered injury and loss and give thanks for them; we recall those who are suffering in conflicts in our world today, and we look forward to that day when the kingdoms of this world will be ordered by God’s peaceable reign.

 

This must surely be a prayer for everyone:

Lord, strengthen our hearts, hands, and minds,
to work together for peace;
to see you in one another,
and to seek your kingdom above all things;
that your will may be done,
and your Kingdom come,
through Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings.

Amen.