Exodus 15, 4-6
Something to read
Pharaoh's chariots and his army he cast into the sea; his picked officers were sunk in the Red Sea. The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power— your right hand, O Lord, shattered the enemy.
New Revised Standard Version
Something to think about
During the last war, a lot of men serving in the Allied forces had escaped from occupied Europe, and were glad to have the opportunity to strike back.
One such was a Jew, serving as a rear-gunner in the RAF, bombing German cities night by night. He hated the Nazis, and looked upon the acres of burning ruins beneath him as exactly what they deserved.
Then he flew on the Dresden raid in early 1945. The inferno of the dying city was worse than anything he had seen so far: below him was a firestorm of hellish ferocity in which nothing could live, whose updrafts buffeted his Lancaster thousands of feet above it.
And for the first time, he felt sorry for the people dying beneath him.
God was glad to set his chosen people free, but must have wept at the loss of his Egyptian children.
Something to do
Next time you pass your local war memorial, or see the memorial tablet in your church, stop and read some of the names. Try to visualise the faces they might have had. Then imagine yourself in another country, looking at a war memorial in a different language.
Imagine a different set of faces, wearing a different set of uniforms. Visualise the families who grieved for those who did not return on both sides. Pray for those still suffering from wars and terrorism around the world today.
Something to pray
Loving God, our history is full of conflict and trouble. After so many centuries, we are still fighting each other, killing and destroying lives, families, and communities. Help us to remember that for every victory there is loss, for every success there is tragedy.
May we never lose compassion for those on the other side, and always seek the peace and community which you want for your world.
In the name of Jesus our living Lord,
Today’s contributor is the Rev Tony Buglass, a retired Methodist minister, who was Superintendent of the Upper Calder Circuit in the Hebden Bridge area.