Assembly building bridges

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An assembly on the theme of building bridges.

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  • When you walked in you heard the sound of an air raid siren along with pictures from world war two. These sights and sounds became very familiar in Britain during the second world war. Many large cities, such as London, Liverpool and Coventry, were bombarded night after night by the German Luftwaffe (the German air force).
  • For people emerging from the safety of the air-raid shelters there was often a scene of utter devastation. This was the case on the night of 14th November 1940 when Coventry was bombarded by bombs. The Luftwaffe left the city and its Cathedral blazing and in ruins.
  • Churches were important to people in these difficult times and a decision to rebuild Coventry Cathedral was taken the morning after the disaster. This would not be an act of defiance, of fighting back, but rather a sign of faith, trust and hope for the future of the world.The Provost of Coventry Cathedral made a national commitment not to take revenge, but to forgive and be reconciled. Speaking from the Cathedral ruins on Christmas Day he vowed, when the war was over, to work with those who had been enemies ‘to build a kinder, more Christ-child like world’.
  • Shortly after the destruction of Coventry Cathedral a stonemason noticed that two of the charred medieval roof timbers had fallen in the shape of a cross. These two timbers were set up in the ruins as a sign of hope and faith. Later, they were placed on an altar made of rubble. Next to them was an inscription with the moving words, ‘Father, forgive.’
  • A local priest found three medieval nails lying amid the debris and fashioned these into another cross.After the war, the three nails fashioned by the priest became a symbol of what is now a worldwide ministry of reconciliation – the Community of the Cross of Nails. Today, the Community of the Cross of Nails is an international network of over 150 organizations in 60 countries.
  • In many countries where there has been war, be it the Congo, Rwanda, or some of the countries involved in the Arab Spring, a nation has risen against its own people, and friends and neighbours have risen against friends and neighbours. When peace is established there is always a great need for forgiveness and reconciliation, which takes time and commitment. The Community of the Cross of Nails has developed as a place of hope for this work.
  • Reconciliation means restoring good relationships between people, or becoming friends again. The Bible encourages us to be reconciled first to God through faith, and then to one another.In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Jesus comforts us. He strengthens us on our journey. We are reconciled withGod, with the Church, and with the people we have hurt. Through this sacrament the Church celebrates Jesus’ giftof forgiveness.
  • One of the hardest things we have to do is to forgive those who wrong us. When we are hurt, our first reaction is almost always to strike back rather than turn the other cheek. Rarely do we understand that revenge is never the answer and is quite harmful to both our spirits and our bodies in the long run.Forgiveness lightens your heart and your spirit in a way that no amount of satisfaction from revenge possibly can. But why is forgiveness so difficult? It's because there is no easy road that leads directly to forgiveness. Obstacles block our path at every turn, and holding tight to our anger can feel so righteous. When we think of the one who wronged us, the pain can seem unbearable. However, it's so important to realize that the consequences of NOT forgiving far outweigh the pain of facing a hurtful person or situation
  • Let us Now PrayGracious God,ruling the earth and its peoplenot by terror but in love;we worship you.We confess that too oftenour words hurt othersand our deeds are selfish;forgive us.In this time of uncertainty and fear,help us to love our enemiesand do good to those who hate us,in the name of Jesus our Lord.Amen.Thank you for listening to 9Alpha’s assembly
  • Assembly building bridges

    1. 1. Reconciliation and Forgiveness
    2. 2.  This was a familiar sound and sight in Britain during the second world war Many large cities were bombarded night after night by the German Luftwaffe
    3. 3.  Often Scenes of utter devastation On the night of 14th November 1940 Coventry Cathedral was bombed
    4. 4.  Not an act of defiance Or one of fighting back It was a sign of faith , trust and hope for the future of the world Provost Howard vowed, when the war was over, to work with those who had been enemies ‘to build a kinder, more Christ – child like world’.
    5. 5.  A stonemason noticed two charred roof timbers fallen in the shape of a cross. These were set up in the ruins as a sign of hope and faith They are now on an alter in the cathedral
    6. 6.  Local Priest found three medieval nails These were made into a cross. This is now a symbol for the ministry of reconciliation – the Community of the Cross of Nails Now an international network of 150 organisations in 60 countries
    7. 7.  There is still war going on in the world to the present day. In countries like the Congo, Rwanda or those involved in the Arab Spring wars have been thought internally When peace is established there is a great need for forgiveness and reconciliation. This takes time and commitment.
    8. 8.  Reconciliation means restoring good relationships between people, or becoming friends again Important part of the Christian faith Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church
    9. 9.  It can be very hard to do When we are hurt we often want to strike back rather than turn the other cheek Revenge is never the answer Forgiveness lightens your heart and your spirit in a way that no amount of satisfaction from revenge possibly can. It’s important to understand the consequences of NOT forgiving far out weigh the pain of facing a hurtful person or situation
    10. 10. Gracious God,ruling the earth and its peoplenot by terror but in love;we worship you.We confess that too oftenour words hurt othersand our deeds are selfish;forgive us.In this time of uncertainty and fear,help us to love our enemiesand do good to those who hate us,in the name of Jesus our Lord.Amen.

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