Photo Credit: Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Photo Credit: Todd Heisler/The New York Times

O Lord, it's happened again;
an instrument of violence dealing death.
Blood and bodies litter the floors
of that house of worship
twisted into a macabre house of death.
Unimaginable pain and inconsolable grief
replace the hymns of praise and shouts of joy.
And this is not the first time;
no, it is one in a long line
of incidents laying bear the ruptured reality
of this kingdom (world) belonging to you.

Tears run down my face,
shared with my afflicted sisters and brothers in Texas.
This is not the first time, nor do I suspect the last,
when the pain of such loss stings the body of Christ.
How long, O Lord? When will the mourning be turned to laughter?
When will every tear be wiped away?
How long, O Lord? When will your kingdom fully come?
When will your will be done;
evil and chaos crushed by righteousness and peace?

Remind us that these statements are not mere dreams, 
but promised realities proven by the wounded, yet glorified, Christ.
In a world in need of good news,
move us, O Lord, beyond empty platitudes
to act in ways that bring the gospel to bear on the world today. 
And as we do so, following the way of Christ (and cross)
in powerful words and life-loving deeds,
may we continue to pray:
Come, Lord Jesus. Come. 

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