Last evening our perception of the world, our country, and our community was once again assaulted and rocked with the senseless shooting death of 5 police officers in Dallas, Texas. Many of us will ask the WHY Question or what is happening, in light of Orlando, Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and now Dallas? I want to suggest to you that even if those questions were answered fully it would not reduce the pain, suffering and hurt to those who were injured physically or those who have been injured spiritually and psychologically.
I do not have any "good" answers or any suggestions about how we repair a sinful and broken world. I do want to remind us that our Trust in God can sustain, support and give us hope that even in the darkest hours of tragedy and evil that God is working. I remind you that Jesus' death on the cross was as dark and tragic as the events we have experienced in the past couple of weeks, yet God was bringing about the salvation of the world.
The events themselves are horrific and could be demoralizing, causing many to lose hope. Instead, I would like to encourage us to view them as opportunities for us to renew our pledge and commitment that we express every time we gather, "thy kingdom come, on earth as it is heaven." Our response must be to respect and guard the dignity of every human being, not to lose hope, not to despair. I would ask that our first task is for each of us get down on our knees and repent of the evil that is in us and the evil that has been done on our behalf. All human beings have prejudice, bigotry, mistrust and anger residing in us. We need to take the log out of our own eye before we remove the splinter in someone else's eye.
I invite you to include these prayers in your personal prayers.
Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquility your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
For our Enemies
O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God our deliverer, gather our horror and pity for the death of those in Orlando, Minneapolis, Baton Rouge and Dallas into the compass of your wisdom and strength, that through the night we may seek and do what is right, and when morning comes trust ourselves to your cleansing justice and new life; through Christ our Savior. Amen.
God, do not hide your face from us in our anger and grief for the death of those in Orlando, Minneapolis, Baton Rouge and Dallas. Renew us in hope that your justice will roll down like mighty waters and joy spring up from the broken ground in a living stream; through Jesus our Savior. Amen.
The greatest commandment is still our mainstay through all this violence and mayhem.... I refuse to let these events deter our call to love our neighbor.