This morning Bostonians gathered for an inter-faith service following the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday. I have a sister who raised her family just outside of Boston and a nephew who still calls Boston home.
There are a number of people in the church who have run in the Boston Marathon whose friends and family members have waited for them at that same finish line. So many of our people have connections to this great city it felt like an attack on us. It is hard to find words that make sense of what happened on Monday, because it was complete nonsense. Unfortunately, many of us were not be able to watch the service, but we can take a moment to pray with Bostonians and for them. Here is the prayer I will be praying throughout the day.
A PRAYER FOR BOSTON
Gracious God, you are the Author of Life and of all that is good in this world and the universe beyond. Help us then not to lose sight of wonder and beauty when the voices of fear and destruction seek to drown out all that is good. We turn to you, O God, as the source of all love, to pray for a sister city which has been attacked by hate. We pray that love and truth will win the day and your light will lead Boston through the shadows of grief and sorrow, anger and fear, to a renewed hope and determination to run the race and finish the course of justice, righteousness and mercy in this world and in this life.
We pray for all victims of Monday’s attack and for the families who lost loved ones and for those clinging to hope beside victims now in critical care. We pray for those who lost a limb to hatred’s deed. May their determination and courage in recovery be a call to one and all to step out and silence the voices of fear and hatred.
We pray in the name of the Great Physician for medical teams entrusted with the care of the wounded. We pray in the name of the One who is Truth for investigators and legal authorities seeking to bring truth and justice to light. We pray even for whoever is behind the terror that your Spirit would cast out the evil from their hearts and enable them to humbly take responsibility and let justice reign. We pray for a city and for a world which can so easily turn to fear and vindictiveness in such times and ask that instead a different spirit might emerge even from our own hearts. And so with St. Francis of old we pray;
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
This Sunday, The Toronto Yonge St. 10K will be passing the church shortly after the starter gives the signal north of Eglinton Ave. at 9 a.m. The street will be reopened in plenty of time for people to get out to church, but I am going to arrive early enough to cheer the runners on. We will make sure there is a word of encouragement on the church sign for all of the runners and the church bells will be ringing so everyone gets the message loud and clear. Why not plan on arriving early enough to join me even if it means having to take a detour to get here?
If you wonder why I would do such a thing, read this piece in the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/15/if-you-are-losing-faith-in-human-nature-go-out-and-watch-a-marathon/
Grace and Peace,
p.s. Our prayers go out today as well to the victims of the horrible incident in Texas.