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Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 28

14 October, 2012

It was a privilege to conduct my first official appointment as Parliamentary Chaplain on Friday, at the Government of Victoria's Multi-Faith Observance to mark the 10th anniversary of the Bali bombings, held in Queen's Hall, Parliament House. Other religious leaders attending the ceremony were Major Karyn Rigley of the Salvation Army, Pandit Abhay Awasthi, Rabbi Ralph Genende, and Sheikh Abdi Nur Weli. Words of reflection were offered by our Premier, the Hon. Ted Baillieu, and the Leader of the Victorian Opposition, the Hon. Daniel Andrews. I offered the following prayer in my new role:

God of love, on this tenth anniversary we pray for all those whose lives were lost in the Bali bombings. As Jesus wept over Jerusalem, longing for peace, so our hearts are heavy as we remember the tragic loss of so many lives in this senseless act of terrorism. We grieve the loss of hope and innocence embodied in each person who died. We grieve the violence of religious hatred; an evil distortion of the message of love that should unite us across faith-traditions. We grieve the absence of forgiveness and compassion, in political systems and amongst leaders, which all too often results in violence and bloodshed.

God of hope, set us free from all that sustains fear and invites violence; restore in us a sense of trust that we may actively pursue justice and peace in all we do. May the loss of those who died that night ten years ago inspire us to build up rather than tear down, to bring healing in a broken world and to be peace-makers what ever the cost.

As St Francis of Assisi prayed many years ago:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

And so we join together this morning, gathering all our thoughts and prayers for those who died in the Bali Bombings: eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them.
Amen.

Illustration for Ordinary Sunday 28 Musings

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