Prayer Violence

On Saturday May 14, 2022: A senseless shooting in a supermarket in Buffalo. On Tuesday May 24, 2022, another outbreak of senseless violence in Texas. Adding to the list of outrageous violence in our nation. And it’s barely even summer. 

It would be tempting to become numb, or hopeless, or resigned to these killings. 

However, we pray regularly the Lord’s Prayer: “Lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil.” 

We urgently need this prayer—to be free from the temptation to be numb or hopeless or resigned in response to the vicious violence we are encountering in our world. And, we clearly need to be delivered from the evil behind such violence. 

If nothing else, we can commit this line to memory and let that guide us: “Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil.” We can discipline ourselves to turn to this prayer again and again and again. 

How can we not give in to the temptation to be numb? hopeless? reactionary? 

There’s another line in the Lord’s Prayer that offers guidance. Speaking of God, we pray: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” 

What a radical vision—that earth should look like heaven! That’s what we are committing to as people of faith: to bring God’s kingdom, here on earth. 

Jesus talked a lot about what the kingdom of God looked like. He used images such as mustard seeds, yeast, a great feast. And finally he made it quite clear: The kingdom of God is within you. 

When we live, aware that the Presence of God is within us, we then have the power and humility to not be tempted by evil. When we live, aware that the Presence of God dwells in us, and in all of us, we will heal ourselves and our nation and our world. There’s work to be done. Let’s get started by worshipping together on Sundays, and serving others with love throughout the week. 

Our world needs us to live our faith, and the need is urgent. I’m grateful to be serving with you and confident that the Presence of God abides with us and within us all. We would love to see you in person as we stand united, with our masks in unity for our nation.