Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting:At Least 11 Dead - the deadliest against the Jewish community in the United States, the assailant stormed into the Tree of Life Congregation, where worshipers had gathered in separate rooms to celebrate their faith, and shot indiscriminately into the crowd, shattering what had otherwise been a peaceful morning. (October 27, 2018)
Glorious and gracious God, Your people once scattered are now gathered; invited to join you in the house where a welcome always waits; ready and willing to praise you with open hearts and eager minds. God of a new day, You bring us morning and light; It was a despairing Job who prayed for his friends, who had lost everything who asked God’s blessing on others, who found renewal in his concern for others. Lord God, we despair at the state of our world; You give us birdsong and the smell of fresh air; You greet us in autumn showers and in the familiar faces of friends and neighbours. You bring us together to worship you; You give us a reason, an opportunity and a place to praise you; You greet us in ancient words which come to life and in new words which speak of timeless assurances.
Lord, we know your power, promises and your presence, but on days like today when your people are gunned down in your holy house we question everything; we thought we knew about you, about humanity, about ourselves. Some hate, fester and plot, destroy and kill. Between nations and faiths who speak through bombs and bullets, send peace. To the refugee, forced from home and unsure of the future, give comfort. For the abused and the destitute, create a place of safety. May we persistently speak up for and reach out to our Jewish brothers and sisters and all of those reeling in fear as they simply go about their daily living. Gracious God, enter our messy lives and heavy hearts that we may we begin this day anew assured of the love which came from on high to live and grow among us and which springs fresh every day through our Lord Jesus.
Lord, help us rise up and resist evil with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Help us confront the hate within and without that is overtaking our world. We beg for an outpouring of compassion and love to overwhelm the scourge of violence besetting our communities. Grant us the courage, the will and the stamina to live every day with faith, hope, mercy, kindness and justice until crying and mourning and death and hate are no more. We pray believing that You will rekindle hope where it has been lost and living where there is mere life. Among families and friends where there is strife and conflict, bring reconciliation. Thank You for friends, Lord, who make us laugh, who comfort us when we are sad, who share our happiness, who are there when we need help. We pray in the name of our Savior, a Jewish man from Nazareth, Jesus, our Messiah, the Prince of Peace.