When we remember 1918, we reflect on a time of great hope and great sadness for our country. We recall our part in the horrors of war and the darkness that drives humanity to violence. But we also remember the promise of peace. On 4 August 1918, many in this country came together with King George V to pray for peace. One hundred days later the Great War ended.
Our God is one who brings peace to hearts and calls us not only to stop violence, but to seek reconciliation. His reconciliation asks that we disempower memories of destruction and their hold over individuals and societies. Through this we can learn to approach difference with curiosity and compassion, rather than fear – and begin to flourish together in previously unthinkable ways.
This kind of reconciliation is incredibly rare. Sadly, we see conflicts and fragile coexistence all around our world. That is why in the 100 days before this Remembrance Sunday, we think especially of those caught up in conflict, and those who pray for peace against all odds and act with hope when there is little light to be seen.
We know that the God who gave his Son to bring us reconciliation hears their prayers; we ask him to stir our hearts to join them in being peacemakers who cross the borders and barriers, radical in our generosity and welcome.
From 4 August let us mark 100 days with prayers for peace, hope and reconciliation.
This is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s introduction to 100 Days of Peace and Hope – 100 Bible readings, reflections and prayers to download and use from 4th August to 11th November.