Arundel Castle in Sussex. When built, the castle defended the valley of the River Arun and protected the settlements to the north of the Downs.
Now it hosts a Tulip Festival. Thousands upon thousands of stunning blooms in vivid colours. Just inside the main entrance is this bank of white daffs and scarlet tulips, overlooked by the strong grey walls. A stronghold of power, now become a place demonstrating the hope of peace.
When facing the uncertainty of war, we all long for safety. Arundel Castle during the festival becomes a symbol of hope: instead of a battleground, it is a garden. Isaiah, one the greatest prophets of the Old Testament, held out the hope that one day, under the Rule of God, the weapons of destruction will be re-shaped as agricultural tools.
He will settle disputes among great nations. They will hammer their swords into ploughs and their spears into pruning knives. Nations will never again go to war, never prepare for battle again. - Isaiah 2 v4, Good News Bible
With that hope in mind, spend some time prayerfully seeking the fulfillment of this promise. Conflict between Ukraine and Russia is the big headline today; there are many other wars across the globe. To pray for those peacemakers, to ask God to restrict the evil of the aggressors, and to intercede for the casualties and refugees: this is a vital work. If the believers do not pray, who else is going to pray?
Lord God, please mediate the disputes, influence the powerful, and act to bring the Kingdom of justice and peace: for if You do not answer our prayer, where else can we turn?