War Memorial

Peace Sunday is held on the Sunday closest to Hiroshima Day, 6 August. It is fascinating, isn’t it, that the NZ Lectionary Booklet has “Disability Awareness Sunday” on Trinity Sunday, Refugee Sunday, Sea Sunday, Bible Sunday, Social Services Sunday, Arrival of Anglican Missionaries in Papua New Guinea Sunday, etc. – but fails to mention “Peace Sunday”.

On August 4, 1914 Britain declared war on Germany – one hundred years ago on Monday. More than 100,000 New Zealanders served overseas and around 18,500 were killed. Then on Wednesday it is 69 years since the first atom bomb was dropped (Hiroshima), and three days later the second one was dropped (Nagasaki).

Regulars here will know how I believe we can celebrate these things without abandoning the lectionary. We can usually find a connection between peace and somewhere in the readings, for example. And in any case we can sing and pray about peace.

Christian World Service (CWS) has prepared resources that link to our agreed lectionary readings. And there is a Gaza Appeal to participate in.

Jesus’ miracle in the Sunday Gospel includes overcoming their concern about food rules (kosher) and who they were eating with. Jesus’ radical, reconciling, community-creating meal ministry is the central way that we remember him.

CWS is a member of ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together), a global coalition of more than 140 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development in more than 140 countries.

My reflection for Hiroshima Day (August 6, Feast of the Transfiguration)

image source: The Citizens’ War Memorial in Cathedral Square, Christchurch. It has the words In grateful remembrance of the sons and daughters of Canterbury who fell in the Great War 1914-1918 Give peace in our time o Lord.

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