Praying for peace
My dearest brothers and sisters in Christ, I just wanted to share part of the letter sent by The Archbishops of Canterbury and York. And share again the prayer for Ukraine, which is also in the weekly “Keeping in Touch” email. We hold the people of Ukraine so much in our hearts, as we pray for peace. With love and thanks, Poppy
EXTRACT OF THE LETTER Please click here for the full text
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid. (John 14.27)
Many of us will have troubled hearts as we watch with horror the attack by Russia on Ukraine. As we have already said, this attack is an act of evil, imperilling as it does the relative peace and security that Europe has enjoyed for so long. The attack by one nation on a free, democratic country has rightly provoked outrage, sanctions and condemnation.
We lament with the people of Ukraine, and we pray for the innocent, the frightened and those who have lost loved ones, homes, and family. We continue to call for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces as well as wide-ranging efforts to ensure peace, stability and security.
These events remind us powerfully that peace is precious and it is fragile. In Chapter 14 of John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to his disciples at the Last Supper and he leaves them his peace. This is not a mere greeting, but rather something deep and abiding. This peace is something that only Jesus gives; for it is a gratuitous gift, a way of living, something to be received for the gift of peace is the gift of Jesus himself. That is why the Lord is able to offer reassurance to our hearts, why those who receive the gift of the peace of Jesus Christ at the deepest of levels should not be afraid.
Peace, therefore, is so much more than the absence of war. It is a gift, and it is also a decision, a gift that must be received. It is a choice we make that shapes the way we live well alongside each other. It characterises our relationship with God. It comes into being by seeking justice.
… And the letter finishes: With every blessing, The Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby The Most Revd & Rt Hon Stephen Cottrell Archbishop of Canterbury Archbishop of York