Lord as think about the world which you love, and in which you have called us to live – give us the strength to learn who and where we are. On this death, give us the grace to stop and consider the horrors of world war, particularly the nuclear explosions that ended the last one.
Lord as we gaze across history to the bleakest moments of our existence, our eyes rest on the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the deaths of 200, 000 civilians in a moment, and the agony faced by many more afterwards. Let us not shrink from the truth of our human readiness to hurt and main and destroy one another – and let us not be overwhelmed by hopelessness to do anything about this.
For the scars that have entered a nation’s memory, for our own readiness to hurt others, for our own willingness to justify this to ourselves and to others, we seek your forgiveness. We ask you for friends-in-Christ who may help us to free ourselves from our self-delusions, and to walk more closely with you.
Where hatred, jealousy and greed lead us as a nation and as individuals, to mistreat others – may we experience a grace that penetrates the bleakest and wildest of human terrors.
Lord, on this day we remember some of the darkest moments in our human history – we realise that darkness breaks out of history and into the present. Open our eyes again, to the world as it really is – to the reality that every month today more people die of preventable diseases than died Hiroshima.
By your grace, help us to face head-on, the terrors of the world as it really is – so that we may understand who you really are and who you call us to be.
Lord God, who sows seeds of life in the deepest nothingness of death – bring your disruptive, disturbing, charge of life into the midst of your church, so that we may become ever more fully a source of true hope, a light to the world, an outpost of heaven and an expression of your life-changing love.