The Peace Light in Leicester North

The Peace Light in Leicester North

 

Peacelight held by girl from Riverside SchoolThere was a special arrival at Leicester Railway station earlier this week.  Three weeks ago, a lantern was lit from the eternal flame marking Jesus birth that burns in the Nativity Grotto in Bethlehem.  This became the peace light from which lanterns were lit and distributed to 30 different European countries, North America, Canada and Mexico by members of the Scouting and Guiding Associations.  On Monday, one of these flames arrived here in Leicester.

There’s more than a little irony in a peace light being sent out from Bethlehem.  Despite what the carol says, it is not a town of stillness; of deep and dreamless sleep.  Instead it’s at the heart of a seemingly irreconcilable conflict which not only deeply affects the people of the region but also spills over into many international arenas. 

And so when we receive the peace light at Birstall Methodist Church this evening, our first prayer will be for the place of its origin – for Bethlehem.  We will use a prayer from Christian Aid, praying not for Arab or Jew, for Palestinian or Israeli, but rather for ourselves, that we might not divide them in our prayers but keep them both together in our hearts.

And despite the fact that this conflict is deep-rooted  we will pray with hope and not despair.  Because, in a paraphrase of the Christian text which will be read in Churches across the world over the next week, the light has come into the world and the darkness, has not, does not and will never overcome it.

This was first broadcast as the Radio Leicester Thought for the Day on 18th Dec 2013

If you are interested in learning more about the International Peace light click http://www.peacelight.org.uk/


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