There are so many things we could say this morning following Friday’s atrocities in Paris. Of course it goes without saying that all who are most immediately impacted are in our thoughts and prayers. But let’s not forget, that those who have suffered previous acts of terrorism across the world are also our brothers and sisters and their suffering is just as awful. Paris is just uncomfortably closer to home.
Last week we focused on the experience of Syrian refugees in Collective Worship in the theatre, and participated in Remembrance, engaging emotionally and spiritually with what is going on. This week, across the curriculum we are exploring these themes further, in an attempt to cut through the ignorance which exists. As educators we must help our young people to understand what is going on in the world from a broader perspective so as to challenge all prejudice because of the hateful behaviour it can lead to. Every single one of us has a part to play in challenging, questioning, educating and leading by positive example.
‘We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference’. Nelson Mandela.
You will perhaps find yourself asking that question about why God allows so much suffering in the world. Why doesn’t he step in and do something? But we know it’s not as simple as that. Evil persists. It just does. But so does goodness. And there is a battle going on between the two. But in the words of Desmond Tutu:
Goodness is stronger than evil,
Love is stronger than hate,
Light is stronger than darkeness,
Life is stronger than death,
Victory is ours through him who loved us. (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
Lord, today we pray for all whose lives continue to be impacted by war and terrorism. We pray especially for those in despair, and grief, those who are displaced and homeless because of war and for those who are not in their right mind.
We pray for peace in the world and we pray that all we do and say would in some small way make the world a more more peaceful place.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.