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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Prayer for Advent 3C and Newtown, Conn.


Lord,

Today we lit the Advent candle of joy reminding us of the joy that the Christ child brought into this world.

And yet today Lord, it is difficult to feel any joy with the death of 20 children and 8 adults just days ago in Newtown, Connecticut.

We are stunned, silenced, saddened and angered that this tragedy could happen.

We think of our children and want to protect them, keep them safe and draw them close to us.

And we grieve for those who hearts are broken by empty hands, empty beds, and empty spaces in their lives.

We pray for the children and teachers who survived that they may heal from their traumatic memories, fears, grief and loss.

We pray for the First Responders and Policemen that their hearts and minds be healed also.

We pray for the parents, counselors, pastors who will help the children and teachers who survived that they will be good listeners and able to help in the healing process.

We pray for our country where it seems like violence has become too commonplace.

We pray for our world where often children are the ones who suffer most when there is war, hunger, poverty.

We pray for ourselves Lord that you would heal our broken hearts and help us to be healing agents in this broken world.

We pray for the day your son does come again bringing joy for everyone.

Come Lord Jesus come……..
cross posted at rev abi's long and winding road and a place for prayer

10 comments:

  1. Oh, thank you, revabi, for putting it into words.

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  2. Beautifully said, revabi. Thank you.

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  3. Thank you revabi. I hope you don't mind if I use this prayer when I light the Paschal candle in memory of those who died and for those who grieve today.

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  4. Thank you, Abi. Thank you for many reminders for this morning's prayers.

    And thank you all, for being here and everywhere the past two days.

    Thank you for helping both to temper and to affirm our natural instincts. I know this is a dreadful, heart-twisting week-end for every one of us. But as someone who as a child lost her mother and brother in an instant to a car accident, and who as a mother lost a child with similar speed, this has rocked me to the core. I was ready to resign my pastorate by noon on Friday. I am not kidding. There are days on which I think that the best possible life for me would be to move to the desert and grow cacti, and Friday was surely one of them.

    By late last night, I was feeling the profound privilege of being the person in the pulpit this morning. It will be difficult to face down people who have somehow latched onto the notion that it was God's plan to steal these little children and make them into angels in heaven. It will be difficult not to cry as I try to weave the story of Sandy Hook into the joy of the gospel, neither of which actually make any sense. It will be difficult even to be there, knowing that many of my people simply turned off the news.

    So thank you, all of you, for making this possible for all of us. I was originally going to preach about Mary and Elizabeth as the first Christian community and now I'm not, so I'll say it here: we in this community are the heirs of that one.

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    Replies
    1. God bless you, Robin. Thank you for starting the conversation on Friday. I thank God we can all be here for each other.

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    2. Amen to that, Martha, and Amen to the privilege of being the one to try to help find God in all this Robin. Praying for you-- and all of us-- as we pray with our people today.

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  5. I want to thank everyone for your comments over the last couple of days. All the comments and reflections helped me prepare and preach a sermon that struck the balance of acknowledging the tragedy and proclaiming hope. Thank you all!

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  6. Thanks for this beautiful prayer. I wish I had seen it in time to print it out and use it in worship this morning, though maybe I needed to pray from my heart in my own words. I was in a world of hurt before the tragic shooting in CT happened; to make a long story short, my husband and I moved recently so he could take a part-time call, and I am currently an unemployed pastor with occasional supply preaching opportunities but no luck in finding a job (not a call, that seems to be a lost cause at least for now, but a job, any job that will provide a steady paycheck and health insurance). Anyway, enough about my problems, just wanted to say thanks not only for the prayer but for this online community. I also wanted to mention a couple of resources that may be of interest to this group:

    1. My website, http://www.betruetoyourself.com, which focuses on helping Christian women know and love themselves.

    2. My book of Christian meditations, Timeless Truths for Troubled Times; the Kindle version is FREE today (12/16) through 12/18 and the link is http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006V3IUAW.

    I must say that it is interesting to me to see the difference between this group, made up mostly of female clergy and other church leaders, and another online clergy group to which I belong that is predominately male. Suffice it to say that this group seems far more nurturing and supportive of one another, and less prone to arguments. Let me be quick to add that I have some wonderfully supportive male clergy in my life, and certainly they can be quite nurturing, too, but nevertheless the difference between the two online groups is quite striking.

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