Friday, October 2, 2015


MORNING PRAYER for 10.2.15

HOLY GOD OF COVENANT and Compassion:
We pray for the people and teachers and families of Roseburg, Oregon, this morning.  We ache for their many losses, for the unimaginable violence at their community college, and for their long road into the heart of grief.  Touch the weeping children with mercy.  Enfold the grieving parents in love.  Empower the people of Roseburg to trust their experience, feel their losses, and turn to one another in loving community.

Holy God of Covenant and Compassion:
You call us into holy covenant, to love and cherish you, to care for and nurture the earth, to build up a just and peaceful society.  We have broken this covenant, here in this country, again and again and again.  We insist on breaking it, again and again and again.  Indeed, we sadly justify our defiance -- at least many of us -- on a twisted sense of divinely appointed freedom.  But we are not free.  We are bound by our fears.  We are bound by greed.  We are bound by a political system perverted by the special interests of weapons manufacturers and earth polluters.  

We have broken the covenant you gave us in love.  And we confess our sin.  We confess our national preoccupation with weaponry and mean-spirited politics and retribution and war.  Lord, have mercy on us.  Christ, have mercy on us.  Lord, have mercy on us.  For the children in Oregon, whose lives are lost: have mercy.  For the children of Newtown, whose lives are lost: have mercy.  For the disciples in Charleston, whose lives are no more: have mercy.  Have mercy on us all.

Holy God of Covenant and Compassion:
In the sky there is a rainbow.  In the mist over the sea there is a rainbow.  In the human heart there is a rainbow.  And somehow, someway, the rainbow signifies your commitment to us.  Somehow, someway, the rainbow promises us this day, this opportunity, a covenant of fresh grace.  Teach us the ways of compassion and courage.  Help us confront the Pharaohs of our age, the weapon-makers of our age, the demons within that accommodate violence and death too easily.  Inspire us to turn once more to Jesus the Christ and the prophets, whose call to justice and love is our surest way to covenant and peace.

So it is that we pray, Great God in heaven, for our own selves.  So it is that we pray for our own communities.  So it is that we pray for our nation.  Your peace is our refuge.  Your promise is renewed even today.  So it is that we pray.  With anger in our hearts, we pray.  With sadness for our inaction, we pray.  We pray for the children, students and teachers at other schools -- where madness waits and sad young men make killing sport.  Help us.  Heal us.  Turn us.

You make this covenant with us: choosing life for us, that we might choose life together.  Make wise our hearts.  Make strong our love.  Make bold our politics.  And take these violent ways, these weapons, these terrible habits from us.  Amen.