W a r
Thou most atrocious deed
Of man, you atrocity
On both sides, robbing
Robbing the father of his son
To defend the fatherland.

You kill the mothers' sons,
murdering wives' husbands,
snatching fathers from children.
Separating forever the lovers
who had only just found each other.

Taking friends from their friends,
Trampling down in minutes
What centuries have created
And built up, that
that generations have guarded.

You dismember the happiness of individuals to dismember their bodies.
To dismember their bodies.
Veterans survive, and
Maimed back to body and soul,
so that they may curse you.

Leaving only wreckage and heaps,
cripples vegetating in abject poverty.
Yet you always arise anew,
as if you were making a promise.
Yet you are - the worst of crimes.
Erhard Blanck (*1942), German healer, writer and painter

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Merciful God of peace,

speechless and powerless, we come to you.
We observe the brutal business of war,
increasing aggression and threats.
All mediations seem to be unsuccessful,
Fear of destruction and suffering is rampant.
In this situation we ask you
for a new spirit of peace and reconciliation,
for understanding and conversion of hearts.
With Your help it will not be too late,
to make possible decisions
to prevent destruction and misery.
On behalf of all those who are directly
affected, threatened and involved,
we long for the miracle of peace
for Ukraine, Russia and all of Europe.
You God of life, comfort and love,
we trust in your goodness and providence.
Amen.

(Prayer of Bishop H. Glettler, 23 February 2022)

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David and Goliath
And the Philistines gathered their armies to battle, and came together to Shocho in Judah, and pitched between Shocho and Azekah at Ephes-dammim: but Saul and the men of Israel came together, and pitched in the valley of the oak, and prepared themselves to battle against the Philistines: and the Philistines stood upon a mountain on the other side, and the children of Israel upon a mountain on this side, that there was a valley between them. And there came out of the camps of the Philistines a giant named Goliath of Gath, six cubits and an handbreadth high; and he had a helmet of brass upon his head, and a coat of mail upon him, and the weight of his coat was five thousand shekels of brass; and he had brass breastplates upon his thighs, and a shield of brass upon his shoulders. And the shaft of his spear was like a weaver's tree, and the iron of his spear was six hundred shekels of iron; and his shield bearer went before him.And he stood and called to the army of Israel, and said to them: Why are ye come out to arm yourselves to battle? Am I not a Philistine, and ye servants of Saul? Choose one of you to come down to me.

If he be able to fight against me, and smite me, we will be your servants: but if I be able to fight against him, and smite him, ye shall be our servants, that ye may serve us: and the Philistine said: I have mocked the host of Israel this day: Give me one, and let us fight together. And when Saul and all Israel heard this saying of the Philistine, they were amazed and sore afraid. ........

Then David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with the keeper, and carried, and went as Jesse had commanded him, and came to the chariot-house. And the host was come out, and had armed themselves, and they cried out in battle .......

Behold, there came up a giant named Goliath, the Philistine of Gath, out of the Philistine army, and spake, and David heard it.But every man of Israel, when he saw the man, fled from him, and was sore afraid .........Then said David unto the men that stood by him: What shall be done to him that smiteth this Philistine, and turneth away the reproach from Israel? For who is the Philistine, this uncircumcised man, that mocketh the host of the living God? ......... And Shaul said unto David, Thou canst not go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art a boy, but this man is a man of war from his youth. ..........

And David said, The LORD that delivered me from the lion and from the bear, he will deliver me also from this Philistine ....... And he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in his shepherd's bag, which he had, and in his sack, and took the sling in his hand, and made for the Philistine ...........

And when the Philistine saw and looked upon David, he despised him: for he was a lad, brownish and fair. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest unto me with a rod? and he cursed David by his God, and said unto David, Come hither unto me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field: and David said unto the Philistine, Thou comest unto me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come unto thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the host of Israel, which thou hast hunted ...........

And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and went and drew nigh unto David, that David made haste, and ran toward the host to meet the Philistine.
And David put his hand into his pocket, and took a stone out of it, and slung it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, and the stone entered into his forehead, and he fell to the earth upon his face: so David overcame the Philistine with the sling, and with the stone, and smote him, and slew him. And when David had no sword in his hand, he ran and stood by the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw that their strongest was dead, they fled.
1 Samuel - Chapter 17
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Two men will work in the field; one will be accepted and the other will stay behind.

Two women will grind grain; one will be accepted and the other left behind.

Matthew 24:40-41
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Then they will hammer their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning knives.
Mi 4.3

They will no longer raise the sword, nation against nation, and they will no longer learn war.
Is 2.4
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The late Rev. Martin Gutl expressed Psalm 126 thus:

"When God brings us home from the days of wandering,

brings us home from the twilight into his delightful light, that will be a feast! Then our wonder will begin anew. We will sing songs, songs that embrace the world and history. We will sing, dance and be joyful: for He brings us home: out of hurry into peace, out of poverty into abundance.
When God brings us home from the narrow spaces, it will be a feast! And the doubters will confess: Truly, their God does wonders! He turns the night into bright day; He makes the desert bloom!
When God brings us home from sleepless nights, from fruitless talk, from lost hours, from the pursuit of money, from the fear of death, from struggle and from greed, when God brings us home, that will be a feast!
Then he will loosen the fingers of his fist, the shackles with which we robbed ourselves of freedom. He will widen the space of our lives to all heights and depths, to all lengths and widths of His immeasurable house. He no longer draws a boundary for us. He who loves will love eternally! When God brings us home, it will be a celebration.
We will embrace one another and be tender. There will be laughter after long years of poverty, suffering hunger. There will be singing after long, unfree nights, those tormented by powers.
There will be dancing of the righteous who fought and suffered on earth for a better world! When God leads us home, it will be a feast! The blindfolds will be removed from the eyes of the lost. They will see. The seekers will finally find a you. No one will torment themselves with the question "Why" anymore. Those who reproached God will fall silent.
We will look without ever coming to an end. When God leads us home, it will be a feast!
Man sows in sorrow, he suffers and matures! His end remains a beginning! He who sows in sorrow will reap in joy. For God, our God, is a God of eternal creation. A God who shapes the new earth, the new heaven with us. He lets us come and go, lets us die and rise again. The sand of our earthly toil will shine. The stones we gathered to build our world will shine like crystals.
We will rejoice like reapers at harvest.
When God brings us home from the days of wandering, that will be a feast - A feast without end!"
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