Thus says the LORD:
A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.
~ Jeremiah 31:15
I write this in the wee hours of the morning, awakened by the relentless images in the news and the knowledge of the heartbreak in Uvalde, Texas. This shooting touches us deeply, as we remember the innocent lives of small children lost forever, and the lives of the adults who sought to protect them, as well as the individuals recovering from injuries sustained in the attack on their elementary school and a grandmother whose pain, if she survives, will be indescribable.
We pray with all those affected:
The parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, and other family members whose lives have been so tragically altered by the loss of beloved children, and the families of the adults killed while serving their community,
The little ones who witnessed such unthinkable carnage,
The doctors, nurses, and hospital staff called to piece back together small bodies and to care for the parents and other loved ones,
The police officers and investigators called to examine an elementary school turned crime scene,
Those called to serve in ways they would never seek: teachers, school staff, administrators, funeral directors, faith leaders, counselors, government officials, and others who suddenly find themselves in unexpected and sad roles.
God of All,
There will be a time for repentance, a time to imagine a new world, and a time for action. But today, the time is for mourning, for lament, for expressions of disbelief and horror, for tears, and for solidarity with a shattered community, with your people grieving those torn from them.
Help us to be a people filled with love. Help us to remember, in these final weeks of the Easter season, that death never has the last word. Assure us that morning does dawn again. And sustain in us the hope that, someday, the new heaven and new earth promised to us will come:
See, the home of God is among mortals.
God will dwell with them;
they will be God’s peoples,
and God will be with them;
God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.
~ Revelation 1:3-4
In hope and in confidence of God’s abiding love,