Wednesday, October 4, 2017
October 4, 2017
“Cure thy children’s warring madness, bend our pride to thy control, shame our wanton, selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul, Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal, lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.”
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Grace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Healer of our Brokenness, and Hope of the World!
Evil demonstrated its killing force in the most dreadful way yet again, only in a larger and unprecedented scale this time. A place of fun and enjoyment instantly turned into a zone of the most horrific carnage. The mass killing in Las Vegas is one of the largest recorded in US history. Lamentably, gun violence is the prime candidate that proves that the record is made only to be broken. It’s only a matter of time.
Our broken hearts, thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of the victims and to their communities for comfort, strength, and healing. I invite and encourage you individually and collectively as a church to pray for the people who have been traumatized by this event. Pray for the victims who are still hospitalized and the doctors and medical personnel who treat them. Even though I am half-way around the world, as I am traveling in Mongolia and Korea now, the news of this event immediately became the lead story here. Whether it is Paris or Orlando, Istanbul or Sandy Hook, Brussels or Las Vegas, we are immediately connected with the pain and heartache of those whose lives have been interrupted and changed forever by violence.
I know that we find God present in this moment. We have heard the stories of the police officers, emergency medical personnel, and the concert goers who put the needs and safety of others above their own. Hundreds of people stood in line almost immediately and remained for hours waiting to donate blood. These acts of caring people bring me much hope and are a sign of the ultimate goodness of humanity.
The words listed at the beginning are from one of the most cherished, long honored hymns of our church. The well-respected pastor of Riverside Church, New York, the Rev. Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, wrote those words in 1930. However, he could have easily
written them today. The phrase, “cure thy children’s warring madness,” reverberates through my mind and becomes my fervent prayer and hope following these horrendous acts of violence. Yes, God, “cure thy children’s warring madness.”
Rev. Fosdick, in his fourth stanza wrote, “Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore.” God’s people, let’s pray that we as a nation might recognize that enough is enough and that we demand actions that call for no more. We must as a people begin to do the courageous things that will be required to reduce hatred, increase the tolerance capacity of others whose views are different, and learn to see one another as children of the Holy God we worship and love. Ever more determined, we join in the chorus of Dr. Fosdick’s prayer; “Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour … lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.” May it be so.
Prayerfully in Christ,
Jeremiah J. Park