Pray for Peace, Act for Peace

The last update to the TMC webpage a few weeks ago was a call to prayer for the city of Orlando and the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse night club.

This week again our hearts are heave as we greive another round of the ongoing violence in our nation.  In this instance, we remember the city of Dallas and the four police officers killed by the gunman:  Michael J. Smith, Lorne Ahrens, Brent Thompson, Michael Krol, Patrick Zamarripa.  We pray for their families, friends, and community, as well as the other officers who were injured in the sniper attack.  

We also remember the context in which this shooting occured and the ongoing strife among the black community, law enforcement, and other groups as well.  We remember Alto Sterling and Philando Castille, as well as their family and friends who are mourning.  

We pray for God's healing and grace in the lives of those directly impacted in these situations, and also for our society as a whole.  We pray for people in positions of influence and leadership that they might lead with courage, truth, and justice.  As the church, we pray for God to strengthen us to be ambassadors of Good News and agents of Transformation.  At times the evil and the pain of the world can seem so overwhelming.   But at times like this we lift our eyes to God and to Christ our Lord.  Christ is the light that leads the church through times of darkness.  And so here are some of Jesus' words from the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5 to help light the way forward:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.
No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. (NRSV)
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
May it be so.
Amen