Topic: ANZAC Day Blessing (2015) by John Hebenton

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At the 2015 ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Tauranga RSA Cenotaph in Greerton, Rev. John Hebenton gave the following blessing:

God our help in the past and our hope for the future,
we come this morning with others around the world and at Gallipoli,
to remember all who suffered during the First World War,
especially those who landed at Gallipoli 100 years ago today.
 
We remember all Australians and New Zealanders who served
in the army, navy and air force.
We remember those of other nations who fought beside them,
and those who fought against them for their own countries.
Bring us all to the day when nation no longer makes war against nation.
 
We remember the physically wounded and the shell-shocked.
Bring healing and peace for body, mind and spirit
to all who are scarred or disabled by war.
 
We remember the nurses, ambulance officers,
orderlies and doctors who eased pain and saved lives.
Renew among us the vocation to heal the victims of violence.
 
We remember the prisoners of war
and those who sheltered and sustained them.
Bless the work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in war zones today.
 
We remember the mothers, wives, sisters, children and sweethearts
who prayed and grieved for the missing and the lost.
Comfort all who mourn.
 
We remember the homes, livelihoods and communities
destroyed by bombs and gunfire.
Have mercy on all who still live in the shadow of war.
   
We remember the conscientious objectors and anti-war campaigners,
reviled or imprisoned for their principles.
Give respect and a hearing for those who ask difficult questions.
 
We remember the chaplains who showed the love of Christ
when danger and death were all around.
Give us faith strong enough to share with the fearful and the dying.
 
We remember those interned and vilified here
for their birth or ancestry in countries with whom New Zealand was at war.
Save us from valuing national identity more highly than shared humanity.
 
We remember the friendships formed in the turmoil of war
and the loyalty and love that comforted the injured and the dying.
Give us grace to be such friends to one another in times of crisis.
 
We remember the peacemakers who prayed and worked
to end the violence and destruction of the First World War.
Raise up peacemakers in all the war zones of the world today.
 
We remember the good neighbours, supporters and advocates
for returned service men and women, war widows and fatherless children.
Make us generous in providing for all the survivors of war.
 
We remember those who died in battle or from their wounds,
and those who took their own lives in agony or despair.
May they rest in your peace.
 
We remember New Zealand service men and women
currently serving or about to serve overseas.
May your peace come quickly to the lands where they serve
and may they come home safe and sound.
 
O God, as we gather this morning
we remember the terrible cost
of this and every war,
grant us peace in our time and a longing for the day when people of
every language, race, and nation will be brought into your peace
This we ask in the name of the Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Amen.
   
God most holy,
we give you thanks for those who laid down their lives in war;
we pray for courage and self-sacrifice like theirs.
If in war we brought peace closer, strengthen our hope;
if we shared our food with others, keep us generous;
if we dream of a better world, hear our prayer;
Renew in us the longing for your peace
and the will to work for it
May we be your messengers of peace!
 
Take wing o messengers of peace
Carry the words to the multitudes
Sow it in wisdom
Sow it in truth
And may the love of God
Creator, Redeemer, and Giver of Life
Be the feathered cloak that enfolds us all
 
E rere e nga Karere a Te Rangimarie
Kawea te kupu ki te tini ki te mano
Ruia i runga te whakaaro nui
Ruia i runga te Whakaaro pono
Waiho ko te Aroha te Atua, Matua, Tama, Wairua Tapu
Hei Kakahukiwi mou,
Aianei a ake tonu atu. Amine

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