I don't often swear. But I had not even caught my breath after the Santa Barbara shooting when I got news of the violence at Seattle Pacific University, a Christian school, and then the shootings in Las Vegas. On Tuesday afternoon I heard there was yet another shooting and I swore. Maybe you did, too. I was a bit surprised at myself that I opted for swearing rather than praying but that is what I did.
Just prior to hearing the news on Tuesday, Saint John’s hosted a very prayerful diocesan clergy gathering. The subject of gun violence came up. Later, two different priests told us how over the past two weeks, their churches have been desecrated; in one instance items were stolen from the church.
I thought, what in the blankety-blank is going on?
There, I did it again.
Swearing is a release of pent-up negative emotion and some say it helps. Somehow, though, even if it has beneficial effects, I don’t want to get known as the priest in charge of the Swearing Congregation. I’d rather be known as the one who serves the Praying Congregation.
This Sunday, we will take time to pray for peace. Even when the country appears to be shaking apart at the seams, prayer is something that you and I can do. God, the author of peace and lover of concord, wants peace – not as the world gives but as God gives through grace. I believe that our praying congregation can make a difference with our prayers.
Life is short, pray hard.