We add our prayers to those of Bishop Curry and the Anglican Primates gathered in the U.K. We pray for all the dead and wounded, for their families, for all the witnesses who will never be the same. We pray for all those who responded and care for those at the scene. We pray for the people of Las Vegas whose community has been attacked.
At the time of this writing, there does not appear to be a clear explanation of why this man decided to open fire on innocent people. We will never know exactly what was going on in his mind. At times like this we wonder what could have been done to prevent the tragedy. We feel powerless, especially in the aftermath of other recent catastrophes. We may wonder where God is.
Yesterday I preached on the message, “God is in charge.” It’s still true. When human beings impose authority over each other and do violence to each other, God is still the ultimate authority. When storms destroy and things are falling apart, God is still holding it all together. That sentiment may be little comfort at a time like this. Comfort may not be possible right now. Yet, it is reassuring to me to trust that God is always lifting us up so that we can lift each other up, even when our hearts are heavy. God’s authority is such that when horrible things happen, we do not end. We endure by grace in that we even have the capacity to love and care for each other. We do not slip into oblivion and chaos. Lives have been tragically cut short, but life persists. God’s love is still stronger than death. That reality does not bring back the people who died. It does not take away the pain, sadness, confusion and anger we feel when one person can take away the lives of so many so quickly. My prayer is that God’s power brings us together to grieve, hold each other close, and then work for a better world in God’s name. “Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”
Let us love those dear to us and tell them so. Let us reach out to those in isolation, so that they will know God’s love through us. Let us examine ourselves and our world to see where we can work for healing and peace. Part of our action is prayer. Today we lifted up the victims in Las Vegas and all those affected in our St. George’s noon prayer service. We lifted up the people of Puerto Rico and all those still struggling in the wake of storms and earthquakes. We will continue to do so. Rather than have a special vigil at this time, I invite us to pray each day at noon, in the church or wherever we are. O God, have mercy upon us.
Your rector and brother in Christ,