Yesterday (6th June) we came together again in the city centre for a minute’s silence following the London Bridge attack on Saturday night. We gathered to do three things: to remember those who died, those who are grieving and everyone affected by the incident. To be thankful for the police, security services who risked their lives to protect and medical staff who devoted themselves to save the injured. We also gathered to resolve to live in peace and to nurture and strengthen the bonds that hold us together: to stand together.
These atrocities are deeply unnerving and can breed fear. That so many are responding with acts of love, compassion, generosity, love, hope and grace is encouraging. As the German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in his Letters and Papers from Prison, “evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease”. It is not a place that we are content to rest and will inevitably be overcome.
At the end of the silence I was asked to lead a prayer and below is the prayer I used.
God of love, compassion and justice,
refresh our hope and trust in you.
When evil strikes
strengthen our resolve to live in peace,
to hold and embrace the grieving,
to build and nurture the bonds that unite,
for all are children of your promise
and equally loved in your sight. Amen.
Ian Black 2017