A Message from Marissa
Dear friends & members of St. Matt's,
Many of you will have seen the news by now about a shooting in the subway system in New York this morning. For many of us, violence like this reminds us of so many other things, particularly when it happens in New York. And this morning, this violence unfolded during our Holy Week, days we believe should be peaceful, set aside. Violence like this is always senseless, it rips and tears at us. We immediately worry for those we love. And if we should have been close, we wonder about what might have been. Then we ache for the loss.
This week, Jesus shows us that he is always with us. That each one of us is precious. And that he will never leave us, not in suffering, and not in death. Instead, he lays down his life to be with us in our most difficult moments, assuring us of a safe eternity. This Savior who lays down his life for you is also counting your days, he is mindful of where you are and what you need. You are never alone.
Pray with me tonight for all those who were injured and killed this morning. Pray with me for a world where violence ceases, where the hatred that divides us falls away. Join us for Compline tonight if you need to pray with other people and lift your hearts in silence as others lead us through that musical service. You need not even turn your camera on if you'd rather not. But join us and pray for peace in the middle of this Holy Week. Below is a prayer adapted from the Rev. Dr. John Throop. Let us pray. And then act to bring about justice, mercy, and a world that is safe for all of God's beloved.
Almighty and most merciful God, we come to you with heavy hearts and troubled minds after yet another mass shooting, this time so close to home. We pray for the victims of these shootings, for all who were injured. We bring before you all the men, women and children who were innocent victims of this senseless and malicious evil. May the souls of all these innocent victims, through God’s mercy find safety and rest. We pray for all who are hospitalized, many still in critical condition. We lift all families who are facing ordeal and turmoil, and we place them into your loving arms.
We give thanks for all first responders, especially the police officers who risked their lives as they intervened to save others. We praise you for the provision of so many medical specialists in the times and places where they were most needed. We bring before you the leaders of the cities and towns who make choices for the common good and are responsible for so many.
We implore your divine help, O God, for our nation at this time. We pray that law enforcement officials will have the resources they need to protect, and to remain vigilant. We pray for our legislators to commit to sensible policies and laws regarding the ownership and use of guns, and that they also will provide resources for better mental health diagnosis and treatment. We pray that our President will provide compassionate and clear leadership to heal our national soul.
Finally, we pray for all who inflict such harm of others. We pray for perfect mercy and justice and for repentance. Amen.