Pastoral Prayer For Crazy Earth Week

Croce di luce - bagliore

O God, how can you stand it? I’m sitting here reading in my news feed about a terrorist attack wherein 20, plus the terrorists, went down…this time. Earlier this week how many were killed in Instanbul? I’m losing count Lord. And now I see a report about a mother who stabbed her four children, all under six years old.

How can you stand it O God? It seems that this world is spinning downward, spinning out of any semblance of control. It appears to be a self-reinforcing downward spiral determined to bring pain and suffering to as many of us human creatures as possible. How did we get here? Why is our human family so bent on self-destruction? And, how can you stand it O God?

At some point, enough is enough. We reach the end of our patience. Our defenses against tragedy are worn down and we fall into grief. Our patience with one another grows thin and we are ready to take revenge, O God. I’m there. Many of us are there.

So what about you O God? Are you there too? Surely it’s worse from your vantage point. You see far more pain and suffering than any of we humans will ever see. Given this O God, how can you sit there and not act? In fact, we are ready for you to act O God. We are ready for some good Old Testament wrath and fire and destruction. Wipe them out O God. Take them down. Do whatever it takes to turn them to salt pillars, or bury them in the Red Sea, or take their firstborns. Do whatever it takes O God to stop this chaos! Surely you can’t stand it anymore? Are you just going to let your children kill each other until this planet and its population selfdestructs; until it all goes up in smoke? Haven’t you had enough, Lord God?

And then O Lord, what about us…our family, our tribe, our clan…even me? All this chaos makes it so clear that everything is so fragile. Our health, our finances, our jobs, our community, our church…Lord we are so keenly aware that everything can be wiped out in a heartbeat these days. Security, the kind we used to have, seems to have fled this place; fled our lives. We are living on the edge; often on the edge of chaos. Where did our safe, secure, protected life go? How can you stand all this Lord? And how can we too stand it another day?

So now, O God, we take a deep breath. We exhale all that pain and craziness and hate, and we look to you. And now we remember. We remember what we know of you. We remember what you did about the hate, revenge, and chaos. You incarnated. You took on flesh and blood and walked and lived among us. You actually embraced this whacked-out world, experiencing all of the above. You demonstrated your answer…stretching out your arms and receiving the suffering and pain. Somehow, O God, in the mystery of your cross, you did something powerful. You demonstrated love. Your love was not revengeful or spiteful. Your love embraced the enemy, the abuser, the persecutor, the angst of it all.

And in so doing, O God, you delivered us to a better way. You redeemed us from the need to exact our pound of flesh, to be the “righteous judges.” You redeemed us to do the same as you…to incarnate your love. You believe love is more powerful than hate and will ultimately heal the human family. You believe your kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven. You believe in we human beings, seeing goodness and potential when we can only see evil and despair.

And this is your mission for your people called Church. This is our calling O God…to love…even when it’s so difficult. In fact this is the opportune time to be the Church, a community gathered around love, one who worships and imitates the prince of peace and Lord of love.

So, here we go O God. We have no idea how we are going to do this; to love each other and our world. Yet we know, deep in our bones, this is what you call us to do. You do not call us to smite one another. You do call us to love one another. To this end, we cast ourselves on you O God. If this calling is going to get done, to be accomplished, we must receive power from you O God, for we cannot do this in our own strength. It’s too much and too hard.

So this day, we cast ourselves on you, relying on the power of your Holy Spirit. May we be your disciples, reflecting your love, empowered by your Holy Spirit, this very day and each day to come. Through the love, grace, and power of Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.



4 thoughts on “Pastoral Prayer For Crazy Earth Week

  1. Paul Wood July 2, 2016 / 1:57-04:00Jul

    Thank you again, Mark. You have expressed your (my, our) faith in a splendid way.

    Paul Wood, McCormick, SC


    • markt987 July 2, 2016 / 1:57-04:00Jul

      Thanks Paul. Good to hear from you. Stay cool this 4th weekend!


  2. Herman Yoos July 2, 2016 / 1:57-04:00Jul

    Thanks Mark for this honest heart felt prayer.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • markt987 July 2, 2016 / 1:57-04:00Jul

      Thanks Herman.
      Happy 4th to you my friend!


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