October 3, 2017
How is it with your soul, Plymouth? Here we are after another tragic loss of life due to a mass shooting in Las Vegas. I'm not sure, my friends, where here even is. More and more often, we have become desensitized to these massacres. This time, when I watched the news, I felt no shock. Instead, I felt the collective disappointment of the many who are left wondering why nothing substantive has been done. No shock, but rage and anger. And then, I felt for you, and wanted to share a loving word from a pastor's heart.
This is a call to prayer, but not for our usual prayers. Unfortunately, I have files of prayers for those killed at Pulse in Orlando, prayers for the Charleston nine, remembrances for the children of Newtown and Columbine and the many other mass shootings that have occurred. The cynical part of myself could keep a template, knowing there will be other mass shootings. But my prayerful, hopeful self looks for some meaning amid overwhelming pain. Let us be together, friends. Let us commit to unity and oneness as the chasm of grief, tragedy and heartache appears to widen.
Of course, my sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of those who were indiscriminately murdered. I pray for those injured, and who witnessed the horrific sights and sounds of the massacre who now swim in the treacherous waters of profound trauma. May our hearts forever go out to those pounded by the newness and terror of death and dying. My deepest desire is that in addition to the grace we extend to those most affected by this tragedy, is that we will pray differently than before.
Let us do so knowing that massacres by way of assault rifles are absolutely preventable. Let us pray while prepared to be agents of change. It is disingenuous to keep praying to God to fix a monstrous horror humans created, and one we have the power
So, may we rise up. May we create a nation that values life. May we resolve to end such tragedies — today! May we refuse to empower the collection of personal arsenals that welcome mass murders. May we look to the societies who chose another way such as Australia and Japan. May we elect leaders who prioritize people over profits.
May we be unified in our dismay that we have not yet discovered sensible weapon law reform. May we call domestic terrorism by its name. May we report with equity, naming the alleged murderer as more than a lone gunman with a love of country music. Those who died deserve more, and we must resist allowing racism and Islamophobia to limit our dialogue on this issue.
Plymouth, as we pray with open hearts and hands, and with moving feet, may we not become deformed by the constant blows of pain. Let us believe that we are empowered and capable to impact change for the better. We are together, strong with the power of God in Jesus Christ to tilt the earth's people toward love, justice and wholeness.
Grieve. Be appalled and dismayed. Light candles. Reflect. Pray. Find your hope. Then, let's right the world. —Rev. Kelle Brown
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. —From The Talmud, 303.