Mothers’ Union Devotion Wednesday 27th January 2021- Holocaust Memorial Day

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5.16

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day and the theme chosen for this year is Light the Darkness. People are being asked to light a candle at 8pm and place it in their window to remember those who were murdered for who they were and to show that they are taking a stand against prejudice and hatred today. We have seen a massive increase in the amount of prejudice and hatred of people based purely on their nationality, ethnic origin, religion, sexuality or gender over the past few years. Fuelled by politicians and celebrities who seem to thrive on the publicity that making outrageous statements brings.

Even our current global pandemic has been hijacked as a source for stirring up hatred by those who harbour prejudices. From the anti-Chinese sentiments at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak to the current naming of variant viruses by their supposed country of origin, we are being fed a narrative of national prejudice. Sentiments that are incompatible with Jesus’ message of love for all.

As Christians we are called to let that message shine out into the darkness of hatred.

Sometimes this is easier said than done. Public opinion, the press, social media and skilled politicians can be very convincing. Not many of us thrive on discord so it can be easier to just say nothing when faced with a tirade of hateful speech. Even if we do not feel safe joining in with heated arguments, we can nevertheless ensure that our own behaviours and words are free from any hint of prejudice and hatred. The light in our words and actions shining out in the darkness for all to see. Remembering the message from Matthew’s gospel – Jesus calls us to be a light shining in the darkness.

A prayer for today from The Council of Christians and Jews

God of love, on this day we pray for the victims of the Holocaust and of genocides in other parts of the world. We pray that you send your light on all who lost loved ones. We pray that you help us hear the words of survivors. We pray that the names of all victims will never be forgotten but will be remembered by us and by those who come after us. We pray that our world will resist evil and intolerance, so that we can all live together in peace and prosperity. And we pray that you will help us be the light in the darkness. Amen.

With all my love and prayers

Revd Sandra