Looking back, this last week has been marred for us in the PACNW by extreme violence. Seattle is no stranger to violence, the folks in the south end know that! But this week, the violence hit the north end. Then it made the national news. Yes, it was a unique experience for the north end. But all in all, the 15 other people that have died in Seattle this year go unlamented. That is sad. Where is God in the violence?
God showed up when a group of pastors from the south end marched north and offered the transformative power of love and compassion. They know something of violence and the toll it takes on a community and they stepped forward at a time when they could have been resentful. God bless them. That is sacramental.
sacrament late 12c., from O.Fr. sacrament (12c.), from L. sacramentum "a consecrating," from sacrare "to consecrate" (see sacred); a Church Latin loan-translation of Gk. mysterion "mystery."
Please join me in a prayer for Seattle that we shared this morning:
Gracious God, we are a hurting community. Hear the pain of all your children as we struggle with violence and death that has visited our city this week. Especially we pray for
the five children of God who fell this week… Merciful God, hear our prayer.
the twenty children of God who have died this year… Merciful God, hear our prayer.
the leaders in the community… Merciful God, hear our prayer.
police and agencies of justice… Merciful God, hear our prayer.
the families and loved ones of those who left us… Merciful God, hear our prayer.
our violent world in need of redemption… Merciful God, hear our prayer.
You love us so much that you gave us the gift of yourself, your Son, and your Spirit so that in the three-in-one, we may find completion in a world that seems so incomplete and so wanting. Challenge us to fill the world with your love, peace, grace, and all that is born from above so that we may lead your people out of the wilderness of violence into the light of Loving Kindness.
Looking forward into next week, how can we be a sacrament? Where can we search out brokenness and heal it, consecrate it, love it, and make it new again? I am thinking of the spiritual, "Balm in Gilead." What can we do to be the Balm that makes the wounded whole?