Memorial Day – Remember the Price of Freedom.

by Christine Sine
Edward Hicks - Peaceable Kingdom

Edward Hicks – Peaceable Kingdom

Tomorrow is Memorial Day in the U.S. the equivalent of Anzac Day in Australia or Remembrance Day in the U.K. I don’t normally blog or write prayers for this day but for some reason it is very much on my mind this year.

I find it is not so much those who have died that are in my mind but those who have survived. There are so many ads on T.V. these days for organizations that try to help disabled vets. It makes my heart ache. A staggering 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related. (read the article). And the plight of other victims of war – refugees, raped women, tortured and maimed civilians – confronts us in so many ongoing conflicts.

The cost of war is so high, and though I think it is important to remember those who have died, I think it is more important to remember and help those who have survived. And in keeping with that our focus needs to be on peace rather than war. 

Peace rose

Peace rose

Yesterday at our garden day here at the Mustard Seed House I was showing off my new garden and tell the story of my favourite rose – the peace rose. This is a story that reminds me that God is a God of peace not war. It was developed in France during WWII and was smuggled out by the French resistance forces to the U.S.  By accident or “coincidence” the celebration being held for the naming of this rose fell on the day that peace was declared with Germany.  (Read the story here) I think that maybe God was at work in the midst of this story just as he is at work in our world today bringing about peace.

While reflecting on this yesterday I wrote this prayer:

God we remember and we grieve,

For those who have died fighting in wars in all places and all times.

For young lives cut short before their time.

For the atrocities they experienced and perpetrated.

God we remember and we grieve,

For those who were injured.

For veterans maimed, disfigured and homeless.

For sufferers of post traumatic stress syndrome.

God we remember and we grieve,

For civilian victims of war.

For refugees who have lost families and homes

For those who were raped and tortured.

God we remember and we grieve,

May they turn our thoughts to peace and not to war.

May they turn our actions to reconciliation and not to violence.

May they encourage us to restore not to destroy.

God we remember and we grieve,

May your peaceable kingdom come,

And your will for good be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Amen

 

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