Because this is a Church of England Chaplaincy we are more than aware that the other dioceses (actually In England) usually mark this coming Sunday as Remembrance Sunday, as will a small handful of other countries, while many more countries mark a date or even several dates historically significant to them as an event when not only past conflicts and those who have suffered as a result of them are remembered, but that Peace is prayed for and worked towards.
Certainly the last two years here at St Catherine’s we have had Peace as the focus of this Sunday and that has been in my thoughts for well over a month now in preparation.
The ‘sermon’ next Sunday will come from our associate priest Solomon who is developing what I began with the Beatitudes for All Saints, and with it that well known ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God’.
But then in all of that I heard something last week which surprised me, not in content, but in what was done with that content. Let me explain.
We may, if we have kept in touch with the news through the C-19 of the past nearly nine months, be aware that one of the nasty side effects or consequences of the added stress of living with C-19 has been the escalation of domestic violence in a number of countries, including Germany. You may, like me, even have prayed.
What surprised me last week when the new C-19 restrictions were being released to news channels (neue Corona-Regeln von Bund und Ländern), was some of the thinking behind why schools and Kita’s need to be kept open. There was nothing in that statement about education. It was all to ease the circumstances around domestic violence and in effect keep children and young people safe. A safety valve of sorts for a high pressure situation.
We hear so very much about politics and Politics being driven by economic agendas, that this was for me a bolt of lightning.
As a result I would like us please to focus this coming week and weekend in our thinking and our praying, but perhaps then also in our being a ‘good neighbour’ where possible, on precisely this issue.
In Germany, we are approaching a further period of lockdown (though light), plus further uncertainties and anxieties, plus Christmas when many more than usual will be in personal economic hardship and others perhaps far from loved ones, all on top of what is normal for this time of year. Can we pray for Peace – in homes, in families, in minds and hearts at breaking point, in ourselves also.
- where can we pray peace into a situation
- how can we bring calm where there is turmoil and pain
- how will our faith in Jesus as the Prince of Peace and our faith in his teachings on peace help us
May we be bearers of the gift of peace that is ours ‘the peace of the Lord be always with you’ to those who have need of it?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. John 14.27
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. Matthew 5.9