Two weeks later, as the shock of Newtown, CT continues to reverberate in our country and world, this Collect (prayer) from the Episcopal liturgy seemed timely and needed:
We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
There are memorials everywhere – angels, stuffed animals, poems, letters and cards. There are snowflakes and drawings. But mostly, there are unanswered questions of “WHY?” and “WHAT can we do?”
We contextualize this prayer for the Holy Innocents to our present circumstances, but I am all too aware of the millions of Innocents who are victims of other people’s pride and hunger for power. Whether it is in Mali, the West Bank, Iran or Afghanistan, there is suffering imposed upon them through no fault or choice of their own.
Prayers for peace, for comfort, and for the Spirit’s Presence to abide…
May we give each other the time, space and grace to heal.