70 years ago, at 8.15am on the morning of August 6th, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people by the end of that year. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, which killed about 40,000 people instantly. These two bombs remain the only bombs used in warfare. It is sobering to know that there are estimated to be 16,350 nuclear warheads in the world, with 2 countries holding 94% of global stocks.
A liturgy prepared by the World Council of Churches – may it be our prayer also:
Blessed is our God, who grants us peace and is the source of all peace.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.
Loving God, you create and sustain all that is good and beautiful;
You give life to the earth.
You have called us to wholeness; to the fullness of life
But, as we gather here, we are conscious of our brokenness
Both as persons and as communities.
We have heard the cries for justice and peace
From all the corners of the earth.
We are moved by the tears, the pain and the agonies
of millions around the world.
We sense the dark clouds of war that creep over us;
We sit in the shadow of death.
Help us to fall on our knees and to cry for that vision of unity
Without which we would perish.
Teach us not to deal with others falsely,
Saying “peace, peace” when there is no peace.
Grant us grace that we may walk
In the paths of righteousness.
Bring us to yourself, that our hearts and minds
May discern the way of peace shown by your son.
For you alone have been our help in ages past,
And you are our shelter in the years ahead.