This has been a difficult summer for our country and for the world. Violent attacks on innocent people celebrating their cultures in Orlando and Nice, violent political upheavals in multiple African nations and Turkey, senseless deaths of American citizens at the hands of police, horrific ambushes designed to take the lives of police officers doing their jobs. The news has been relentlessly distressing.
We sometimes think that the world is somehow worse today than it’s ever been. I don’t really think that’s true. The time when Jesus walked the earth was as frightening, as unjust, as divided, and as violent as ours. At the time of this writing, I’m preparing to preach about the community prayer Jesus gave his followers in the midst of that world.
A prayer his disciples asked for: a prayer to teach them that God is the God of holiness, the God of provision, the God of forgiveness, the God of hope.
To quote my good friend, Fr. Quinn Parman, of St. Paul’s in Chattanooga, TN: “Given a dark and uncertain world, Christians can – Christians must – respond in holy ways, with holy words.” I have said that one of my goals for Holy Trinity Episcopal Parish is that we will be known as people who pray: people who pray for and with each other. It is also my goal that we will be known as people who pray actively: people whose prayer comes from the heart, is voiced in community, is felt in the world as a result of our actions.
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.
Let our amen be wholehearted.
Let our amen be heard clearly.
Let our amen be the work of our hands.
Holy Trinity is known for being a church that works hard to help the poor and needy. Holy Trinity is a church that is ready to stand up for those who seek mercy and justice. As we pray together, consider how God is calling you to be a part of this holy work of fostering reconciliation and hope in a world that needs the light and love of Jesus Christ.
God bless you, and keep the faith!