Lord, we come to you this morning on this new day, and we give you praise.
We say together with our lips: “This is the day The Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
You teach us to fix our eyes on you, to keep before us all that is pure, right, true, noble, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.
And yet, Holy Father –
There are days we we have a hard time rejoicing. There are days when we have a hard time seeing the right and the good. When instead we are weighed down by grief, when we are sick with anger. We know what we have here: this gift of this church, this community, these generations of adults and students, parents and kids. And we know that right now there are churches gathering in Connecticut who are missing adults and kids whose lives were taken from them on Friday.
You are the God of justice – why do you allow suffering like this? And how do we praise you in the midst of it?
God we often don’t know how to keep our eyes on you when we live in a world so sick and broken that we suffer catastrophes like this.
But we know you speak the truth when you teach us that all of us have fallen short of your glory. We confess that we live in a sinful world and we ourselves are sinners. Lord, on behalf of our culture, we pray that you would cast down our addiction to violence, our cynicism about it, our delight in it.
By the cross of your Son Jesus, root out anger and pride and hardness of heart among us. Shed the light of your unfailing love into our hearts to heal our wrong desires. Keep us fixed on the truth that you are near – you are not a joke, you are not a fiction, you are real and you are here and that must shape every aspect of our life.
Lord Jesus, We come this morning to praise you in the midst of our pain and fear. If we don’t speak that truth, then we’re faithless to our own community of kids and the generation after them. In You, Lord, is our only hope and trust.
So come, Lord Jesus. Bring a hope in You, our hope for Your new heavens and new earth. Make it a fire in our hearts that keeps us going. Keep before us that which is good, true, beauitful. Let our gentleness be evident to all, because you are near. Make us agents of your kingdom who redouble our efforts to witness to the life we have in you – life now and life to come. Help us to learn the new habits of mind and heart that you use to shape us into people who are truly Christ-like – who love and lead this world toward your purpose.
Come, Lord Jesus.