Just a Prayer

Full disclosure: I saw this prayer from Walter Brueggemann posted on Ryan’s blog. I have no other words.

Another brutality,

another school killing,

another grief beyond telling…

            and loss…

                        in Colorado,

                        in Wisconsin,

                        among the Amish

                        in Virginia

                        Where next?


We are reduced to weeping silence,

            even as we breed a violent culture,

            even as we kill the sons and daughters of

                        our “enemies,”

            even as we fail to live and cherish and respect

                        the forgotten of our common life.


There is no joy among us as we empty our schoolhouses;

there is no health among us as we move in fear and

            bottomless anxiety;

there is little hope among us as we fall helpless before

            the gunshot and the shriek and the blood and the panic;

we pray to you only because we do not know what else to do.

            So we pray, move powerfully in our body politic,

                        move us toward peaceableness

                                    that does not hurt or want to kill.

                        move us toward justice

                                    that the troubled and the forgotten may know mercy,

                        move us toward forgiveness that

                                    we may escape the trap of revenge.


Empower us to turn our weapons to acts of mercy,

            to turn our missiles to gestures of friendship,

            to turn our bombs to policies of reconciliation;

and while we are turning,

            hear our sadness,

            our loss,

            our bitterness.


We dare to pray our needfulness to you

            because you have been there on that

                        gray Friday,

                        and watched your own Son be murdered

                                    for “reasons of state.”


Good God, do Easter!

            Here and among these families,

            here and in all our places of brutality.


Move our Easter grief now…

            without too much innocence—

            to your Sunday joy.

We pray in the one crucified and risen

            who is our Lord and Savior.


“‘Come, Lord Jesus!’

May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.” – Revelation 22v20-21