sighs too deep for words
Thanks be to God, God's sweet Spirit is being poured out on clergy and religious leaders across the country in this time of trial to "help us in our weakness: for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words." + Romans 8:26
And a special SALT thank you to Rev. Richard L. Spleth, Regional Minister for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana, for this beautiful prayer.
Eternal God, we turn to you in pain and anguish in the death of so many of your children in Connecticut this week. Hear our prayer of sorrow for the loss of innocent lives and the loss of innocence for so many others who witnessed this horrific event. We pray for the families of these victims and all the families of the Newtown community as they attempt to care and comfort one another.
Even as we make our way through Advent preparing for the birth of the Christ child we remember that story also includes a tragic episode. Another deranged individual, a king with power, avenges Christ's birth by ordering the deaths of young children. The pain of that loss echoes through the centuries in the words of the scripture:
"A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled because they are no more."
New voices have been heard to that wail this week, and we add our own lamentation, not only for the lives lost in Connecticut but for all the ways in which your children, your beloved and holy creation, are hurt and injured.
So help us protect one another O God so that all live with a sense of safety. Help us care for one another in a time of loss. Help us find ways to assist those whose lives are filled with despair so that they are not of danger to themselves or others. Help us live with hope again when dreams are dashed and the future seems insecure. In those times in particular, O God, we need you ever near. Let your Spirit bring healing salve for broken hearts this day. Sustain us with your power, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Thanks also to Hamed Masoumi for this gorgeous photo that can be found in his collection entitled, "Feelings of a Stoned Face."