Bishop Devadhar: A prayer for the Tree of Life Congregation

October 27, 2018

Beloved in Christ:

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I was shocked and profoundly saddened by the news of today's mass shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh.

I offer this prayer, and I humbly invite all of you to join me:  

God of us all,
   who created us in your image,
   your peace has been disturbed;
   Your heart has been broken.
   One among us has invaded a sacred place,
   slaughtered innocent children,
   acted hatefully toward what you love.

Holy God,
   who declared what you made, good,
   we are stunned, shocked, pained.
   Our grief is deep, and we know not how
   to articulate what we feel.
   You know the depth of our sorrow;
   You know the desires of our hearts.

We thank you, God,  
   for those who have sought to bring healing,
   for those who have been signs of your presence,
   for those who have acted lovingly in the midst of hatred -
   first responders, law enforcement officials, medical experts,
         spiritual and governmental leaders,
         and all the compassionate people
         whose names will not be in the news.

Guide us, O God, in addressing the issues
       of gun control
       and the care of persons with mental illness.

Merciful God, who is with us always,
   most especially in suffering,
   be with those who have experienced this horror;
   comfort those who have lost their loved ones;
   help those whose faith has been shaken;
Save us, O God. Save us from the folly of believing
   that the sin committed by one was an individual’s doing only;
   help us to see this violent act
   as our own failure to be your Beloved community.
God of people of all faiths,
   help us to go beyond our own faith communities
   creating a reign of your shalom
   where children who call you by different names
   join not only in prayer, but in action,
   to make the world a place
   where we can live freely without fear.

In Christ's love, 

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar