“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not hive to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”
Tomorrow marks the start of ‘Remembrance 100’. Across the country churches from all denominations will start 100 days of prayer for peace and reconciliation ending on Armistice day. This is to remember the events on Sunday 4thAugust 1918, when King George V, four years after the declaration of the First World War, asked for this day to be observed as a National Day of Prayer: 100 days later the war ended.
Some 65 million men were mobilised across Europe during World War 1. Nearly a third of them – some 21 million – were wounded. Another 8.5 million were killed and some 7.7 million were taken prisoners of war. All of them had family and friends whose lives were changed forever by the events of 1914-1918.
The words of Jesus that we read from John’s Gospel were spoken just hours before Jesus was crucified. Even in the final moments Jesus was concerned for the peace and the joy and the faith of his followers. Despite the fact that He was about to be tortured to death with one of the most horrific means of torture ever devised, Jesus concern is that all his followers would know peace.
Sadly, today, there are still many countries experiencing conflicts, Yemen and Syria to name two, many people including Christians facing terrible persecution and fear. However, the peace that Jesus promised in John’s Gospel is not dependent on circumstances and transcends even the horrors of trench warfare and modern day conflicts. This peace is available to each of us today. The peace that God offers is the most amazing peace, the Bible says in Philippians 4:7 “ and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Today wherever we are and whatever we may be facing in our lives may we know God’s peace. Over the next one hundred days we will be praying for reconciliation and peace in the world. If you wish to join us you would be most welcome weekday mornings from 9am – 9:15am in the vestry. If you want to know more about the ‘Remembrance 100’ then go to www.rememberance100.co.uk
Prayer of St Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.