Peace in our time…
In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly established the 21st September, as The International Day of Peace, and it is observed around the world. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.
Achieving true peace entails much more than laying down arms. It requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish. It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally, regardless of their race. This year’s theme is End Racism. Build Peace.
On the north coast of Ireland is the Corrymeela community. It is an ecumenical Christian community committed to helping us all live well together. Since 1965 Corrymeela has provided a place of welcome to people whose lives have been torn apart by violence and kept apart by religious difference.
These words were used in the service from Corrymeela on Sunday 21st August 2022:
Let us gather before God,
Knowing that our God is the God of all.
The God of peace does not belong to one or the other.
In God we all find belonging.
So come, let us find a new way to be together.
Without fear. Without threat.
With love and mercy. With justice and peace.
Let us worship our God together.
In 2017 the World Day of Prayer service was written by the Christian Women of the Philippines. Elizabeth S Tapia from the Philippines wrote these words:
God of peace, of mercy and love, made a flower of peace bloom in the desert of war and adversity, now and always.
She also wrote a Peace Blessing:
Peace to the world
Peace to the city
Peace to the village
Peace to the desert
Peace to mother Earth
Peace to the cosmos
Peace to you
Peace to me
Peace to my neighbour
Peace to whom it may concern
Peace. Peace. Peace!
These prayers and thoughts were published in Together in Prayer No 34:
For the start of the new millennium in 2000 a Millennium Resolution was passed;
Let there be…
respect for the earth,
peace for its people,
love in our lives,
delight in the good,
forgiveness for past wrongs,
and from now on a new start.
St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) had used the same thoughts about peace in his prayer:
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;
And where there is sadness, joy.
And I pray that may God always be close to you and keep you. May you walk the path of peace today and always. May you always stay in love with each other. Let all you do be done in love.
Go in His peace. Amen
UN International Day of Peace 2022 theme