God who weeps with us, breaking news is no longer shocking news. After another mass shooting we hear the reports of how many dead and injured and the weapons used to violently, rapidly, repeatedly wipe out people with names, faces, stories and loved ones. Lord, why do we keep killing each other? What must we do to end the deadly anger on a rampage through our country? You command us to love one another — to love our enemies even. You tell us perfect love casts out fear. You say, in the end, all that abides is faith, hope and love, the greatest of which is love. We wonder why our land is riddled with bullets, rife with rage and overflowing with the blood of innocents, even as we use the language of attack and invasion, refusing to see one another as your beloved children.
We are all responsible for the pitiable state of our life together. We confess our complicity in stoking the flames of division and our complacency with suffering and violence. We repent of the ways we contribute to despair and anger. We sit in sackcloth and ashes, awaiting your word of promised grace, but knowing that you demand justice and accountability, a contrite heart and transformed actions. As we anticipate your word of both mercy and judgment, forgiveness and command, we pray comfort for those whose mourning feels endless, whose grief is unspeakable, whose lives will never again be the same.
Help us, Lord God, for we are beyond helping ourselves and we need your divine intervention. Send your Holy Spirit to mend our ways and our thoughts so that they reflect your loving kindness and your pursuit of goodness for all of creation and every person living within it. Make us witnesses to Jesus Christ, his healing, compassion and reconciliation, for it is in his name we pray. Amen.
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