Thursday, 6 December 2007

Praying against bullets

And they shall beat their swords into pruning hooks...
As ever on work days Tuesdays to Fridays we gathered this morning in the side chapel. On the side altar is the Coventry cross made out of pieces of shrapnel which fell on Dresden and Coventry in the second world war. It's a powerful symbol of the pain of the past and of hope for the future. Yet for me it also represents enormous creativity and the capacity for transformation even in the face of the terrible weapons of war.
News had reached us of the shootings in Nebraska. Also news from our own network of a death by shooting of a friend in the Caribbean and of a colleague's brother in law critically injured by gun crime in South Africa. And in the ecumenical prayer cycle we rememebered Sierra Leone and Liberia, both countries which have known much about living in the ever present fear of bullets. Countries in which a Lutheran church project transforms bullets into small crosses for sale as symbols of hope.
So against news of bullets and memories of snipers and war we offered our prayers.
Our insignificant and powerful words and thoughts and songs, against bullets.
Of course we know that other bullets will be fired, yet we still gather and try to pray.
Prayers against bullets and for peace. Perhaps a way of trying to beat swords into ploughshares.
You can read our liturgy here, but wou won't be able to hear Theo's wonderful voice, leading us through to sharing the peace as we began the working day.