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Prayer for the Week – 8th June 2024

Prayer for the Week – 8th June 2024
June 8, 2024 Bronwen

Weekly Reflection MWiB June 8th 2024

Mark 3: 20-35 – Jesus accused by his family and by teachers of the law (Vs 34: Here are my mother and my brothers)

This week has seen the 80th Anniversary of D Day – the marking of the ‘beginning of the end’ of World War 2 in Europe – this is an event that we do need to remember and not just assign to the history books – we keep saying we need to learn but never quite seem to manage it – the mistakes keep getting made – the inhumanity against each other is repeated over and over again. We need to remember all those who fought and died, the innocent victims who died in bombings on both sides, the suffering and the losses – all those people were our brothers and mothers, sisters and fathers – whatever their colour, race, creed – they are all part of the human race.

I think it goes without saying that the most moving part of my recent trip to Japan was our overnight visit to Hiroshima – nothing could really have prepared me for the experience of seeing the remaining evidence of the first of the 2 atomic bombings of Japan – used to supposedly bring an end to yet another ‘war to end all wars’. Yet, as we all know, the wars continue – with the recent conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine being high profile on our news every day we are all aware of the suffering of the people in war – the ones in direct line of all that is happening. Hiroshima is another example of that – the children, the elderly, the frail, the families – all those the ones caught up in conflict and suffering that goes with it.  The idea that all those innocent victims are in fact all our brothers and sisters really resonated with me as we visited the Peace Garden of Hiroshima with the torn-out city building remaining as a monument to what had happened in 1946 – yet around it has grown a new, vibrant city filled with a community of loving and peace filled people. On a beautiful April day we say in the park abloom with blossom, listening to the joy and laughter of families, young people, the elderly, visitors and locals all enjoying the beauty that had come out of devastation – I sat and had a chat with an elderly man – born and bred in the city who spoke perfect English and asked me to tell him about England – who would have imagined that could happen 80 years ago?   It reminded me of the resilience of human- kind – the ability to grown and rebuild, to forgive – but not necessarily forget, and to be brothers and sisters to each other.

The photograph of the Peace Garden is taken from a window of the Peace Museum and it is designed with the Dome building at the opposite end and Cenotaph, Peace Memorial and Everlasting Flame  in between. Below the window is a plaque on which the following words are written:  “ No one else should ever suffer as we have”  This heart rendering message of hibakusha forged in a cauldron of suffering and sorrow transcends hatred and rejection – its spirit is generosity and love for humanity and  its focus is the future of humankind. “Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil” . These words express the spirit of Hiroshima – pursuing harmony and prosperity for all and yearning for genuine, lasting world peace – is this not a prayer that we each hold in our hearts?

Hiroshima – 7th April 2024 – Atomic Bomb Dome & Peace Memorial Park


Prayer (words adapted from Roots 10/6/2012)

Lord of the world, our Father, our Mother, our Saviour and Friend: we pray for your children.

We pray for families divided by war, poverty, hunger or natural disaster: for they are our brothers and sisters,

We pray for families divided by acrimony and misunderstanding: for they are our brothers and sisters,

We pray for families divided by economic circumstances; for they are our brothers and sisters,

We pray for our own families and loved ones, for parents who raised and taught us, for children who delight and challenge us, for friends who support and encourage us,  for those who depend on us : for they are our brothers and sisters,

We give thanks to Jesus, our Saviour,  and we pray in His name: for we are his brothers and sisters AMEN

Philippa Hill, Trustee: Bolton & Rochdale and Lancashire Districts