Second Saturday in Advent

O shepherd of Israel, hear us,
shine forth from your cherubim throne.
O Lord, rouse up your might;
O Lord, come to our help.
Psalm 80 [79]

. . . . . .

‘Hear us.’ What more is there to pray, when the world is upside down? Darkness has visited–death has invaded. Hear us, author of life; rouse up your might, you who have triumphed over the grave. You are the One who makes all things new, help us.

I confess that my geography is not that good; I don’t know whether I am halfway between Connecticut and Syria. But I do know that whether I look to the east, or I look to the west, I see parents grieving the loss of their children. I see violence–terror on every side–and I cannot believe that any of us is safe. The world appears to me as a place of suffering and pain. Why there, O Lord? And why the children?

I am a theologian by inclination and by training; I know that’s not one we can answer. I pray for those grieving, and those standing beside them: ‘O shepherd of Israel, hear us, shine forth from your cherubim throne.’ Speak peace, speak comfort, and bring light where it seems darkness has overtaken us. ‘O Lord, rouse up your might; O Lord, come to our help.’

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