Friday 8th May
Over the last fortnight the daily prayer has come from the New Zealand Prayer Book. I have found its collects to be a great source of inspiration and comfort during this time. Today I have chosen the Collect for Remembrance Sunday because it seemed to set the right tone for the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. All over the country today people will stop to remember VE Day and give thanks for the freedoms that were purchased at a great price. For many of what we call the war time generation now in their 80s and 90s and a handful over 100 this may be the last time for a national day of remembering whilst they are still with us. However I don’t want to reflect on that rather morbid note but instead to give thanks that they in their generation were prepared to lay aside their own needs and wants to fight against a great evil represented by racism and facist ideologies. Many gave their lives so that the future might be safe and secure for future generations. Jesus himself drew attention to this sort of service.

John 15: 12-13 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

As Christians we too are called to selfless acts of service, we may not be called to literally give up our lives but we are called to serve our communities. I am continually humbled as I hear stories of what our church communities are doing to serve the most vulnerable in our parishes. As we celebrate and remember today pray for those in our cities, towns and villages who are giving their time and energy to volunteer to help others and to bring comfort and hope to those in need. Pray too that once this crisis is over that our society might remain a kinder and more generous one.

Almighty God,
govern the hearts and minds
of those in authority
and mercifully grant that the
people of the world,
divided and torn apart by sin,
may be brought together
under the gentle rule of Christ