Latest death toll from the Sri Lankan terrorist attacks is at 290, with nearly 500 injured. Many of those victims were attacked while attending Easter Services. And Last month on March 15, 50 people were shot and killed by a white supremacist while praying in their Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. Closer to home here in the US, just a few weeks ago three Black churches in Louisiana were burned down by a white terrorist. And last year in Pittsburgh 11 people were murdered while praying in a gathering at Tree of Life Synagogue. I’m sure there have been other, less publicized incidents of religious violence and bigotry as well that I am unaware of.
We pray for this violence to end. We pray for the root causes of religious and racial bigotry to end. We pray for terrorism and the hate that fuels it to end. I have written many litanies about terrorism and war, and the fallout and grief that follow them. But today I’m offering this prayer and reflection, in hopes that they may find their way out into the world, to soften hearts, to open ears and minds, and to bring us all closer in to Love’s consciousness.
Love has no bounds. Love sees race and religion, admires their precious beauty and diversity, and flows on regardless. Love encounters each human being with an open heart. Love accepts and embraces all.
God, our hearts break for those killed in the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Louisiana, and Pittsburgh*
The world reels from this violence.
Love has no room for violence and killing.
In fact, Love repudiates violence.
As Christ on the cross has shamed and rebuked death and violence,
So we rebuke these violent attacks,
Instead proclaiming a gospel of peace
And an ethic of reconciling Love.
We pray for the families of the deceased,
That their hearts may draw ever closer to Love.
We pray for the spiritual communities dealing with the aftermath,
That they may be good homes for healing.
And we pray and stand in word and action against religious bigotry,
Offering up Love’s redeeming alternative.
Let us each, in our hearts, cultivate peace,
Each day as we practice prayer,
Engage in service,
Do justice and mercy,
And heed the voices of the suffering oppressed.
Oh God, help us to be Love.
In Love there is no Other.
There is only One.
*Add other locations of violence as you are aware of them, or God forbid, as they occur.