Lord, we come to you in the wake of painful events of violence in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas.
It has been once again a week of gut-wrenching terror and apparent that we live in a world that has failed to “learn the paths of the Lord and of love.”
Lord, I bring to you my own testimony and anger and fear. For I have spent the last three weeks with an incredibly diverse cohort of preachers, including many preachers of color, who routinely feel afraid to drive from one side of their town to another, for fear that a traffic stop for a broken taillight will end in violence, a fear that I simply do not know because of the color of my own skin. But a fear that I have on behalf of my friends.
And I have spent the last weeks walking through a neighborhood kept safe by those in uniform, who like many like them across our country are now afraid of vigilantes ready to target them because of the uniform they wear, a fear I do not know because I do not wear a similar badge. But a fear that I have on behalf of my friends.
For all those who today have reason to fear, we pray.
Because it feels as there is simply no good news to be had.
And yet, we know there is good news.
Even in the midst of terror and rage and fear, we cling to you as the only Source of good news in this week and every week. We cling to you because every other source fails to bring us good news. Every other source brings us sensationalism in order to sell ad time. Or gives us easy, pat answers that oversimplify and make us choose one side or another – blue or black. Or gives us a band aid in the form of a three-line tweet or a Facebook meme. But God, in this moment and in this hour, we cry out to you as the true Source of healing because we know that you and you alone will give us what we need.
We turn to you, who have heard the cries of your children in the midst of oppression and brought to your children exodus and freedom. We turn to you, who have promised us that in the midst of violence and death – even your own – you came to bring peace. We turn to you, to your Story, to your Spirit, to your Truth, because we know that you alone are the Source of true reconciliation, true hope, true peace from the fears that overwhelm us.
God, we call on that Source this day, and every day. Some feel we are personally impacted by this week’s violence, or we are touched vicariously. Or many of us are simply hurting in one of a plethora of ways: struggling to care for a loved one suffering the effects of dementia or illness, or worrying about what will happen with our children or grandchildren, or feeling so overwhelmed at work that we are paralyzed and unable to know what to do next.
Whatever our pain and fear are this morning, we call on you as the Source of the good news we need. Know us. Love us. Heal us. We have faith that you have indeed “transferred us into the kingdom of (your) beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” And in whose name we now pray. Amen.