Sadly our churches cannot gather this day to remember VE Day.
It is a poignant reminder of a country – indeed a whole continent and world – that was weary and exhausted from a time of prolonged disruption and fear.
Our forebears had struggled and risked everything to resist oppression, fanatic racism and violent nationalism.
Young people – women and men – suffered the most, losing their lives, suffering injuries – all for the freedom of others.
Families ever disrupted, wounded and scarred.
We honour their courage and memory.
And we are thankful.
And this was a day when hope of a different future became real.
When the prospect of peace opened up celebration and joy.
There was much work to do. A new world of possibility and hope to imagine and to make real.
A renewed sense of togetherness.
We have inherited this world.
And we must treasure and continue to honour this gift.
We pray for a world of peace and understanding, where leaders will seek to listen to others to respect different voices, to stand up for justice.
We pray that we will all learn more of our deep human connections on a deeply connected planet.
And we give thanks once more.
O God of truth and justice, we hold before you those men and women
who have died in active service,
particularly in the Second World War,
whose sacrifice brought Victory in Europe.
As we honour their courage and cherish their memory,
may we put our faith in your future;
for you are the source of life and hope,
now and for ever. Amen.
Let us pledge ourselves anew to the service of God and our fellow men and women: that we may help, encourage and comfort others, and support those working for the relief of the needy and for the peace and welfare of the nations.
Holy God, our loving parent,
we pledge ourselves to serve you and all humankind,
in the cause of peace,
for the relief of want and suffering,
and for the praise of your name.
Guide us by your Spirit; give us wisdom;
give us courage;
give us hope;
and keep us faithful now and always.
Photo Courtesy of Royal British Legion