Litany for Las Vegas

I was awake at 4 am, reading the grim news from Las Vegas. Grabbed my phone to check the time, and there was the headline. Why did I wake up? Did some part of me know that the worst mass shooting in US History had just occurred? I don't know, but I know we're all connected and when one part hurts the other parts feel it. If you want to keep praying, you can pray Litany for a Terrorized CityLitany for Gun Violence , and Litany for Grief also.


God, we are at a loss.
The violence that has happened
And continues to happen
Does not compute.

How many of our citizens must die
Before things change?
How many of our children must we lose
Before justice is done?
How many lives and bodies must be broken
Before we are saved from ourselves?

We know that sometimes your justice
Looks like letting us reap what we sow.
We know that sometimes your love
Looks like allowing us to make choices.
We know that sometimes your wisdom,
Looks like giving us dominion.

We made a mess
With weapons and war
With grudges and judgment
With violence and bad choices

We give dominion back to you
Asking for your mercy.
We give our hearts and souls back to you
Asking for your help.
We give our mess back to you,
Asking you to save us.

Forgive us, Oh God,
And care for those we've lost.

Amen


 

Litany for Gun Violence

We are still mourning Orlando. We are still mourning Christina Gremmie. We are still mourning San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, Fort Hood, the D.C. Navy Yard, Sandy Hook, and on and on. A litany of loss. A litany of political strife and conflict and impasse. I do not profess to know the right answer to our problems. I've read some ideas that seem reasonable to me, but I see, to a limited extent, both sides of the issue. I want to help us pray from both sides of the issue.

God,
We approach You now, in a time of mourning and lament.
How long, Oh Lord, must we wait for justice and peace?
How long must we wait for all things to be made new?

We acknowledge that guns are tools:
They have been used to defend good. They have been used to perpetrate evil.

We acknowledge that human lives lost are mounting up, tragically and abominably.
We acknowledge that the subject of gun control and gun rights is a touchy, divisive one.
We acknowledge our tendency to close our ears to the voices of those who disagree with us.
We acknowledge that policies as they stand are not working very well.
We acknowledge our distrust of government leaders to faithfully care for us.

We are afraid:
That we might not be able to protect ourselves.
That losing part of one right might set us on a path to losing them all.
That our children might grow up in a world less-civilized than our own.
That more children and innocents will lose their lives in the coming days.
That our hopes and dreams will be unobtainable in an unsafe society.
That the many will suffer for the sins of a few.
That freedom is a bygone idea.

We pray for our leaders:
May they come together in unity, seeking a way forward.
May unity be, not a pipe-dream, but a reality.
May they find a way to both protect the rights of those who would defend goodness, and deter evil-doers.
May they be guided by You toward policy that respects the rights of all, and protects innocents.
May each side set aside its own agenda in favor of the good of all.
May the good and righteous overcome the greedy and pernicious.

We pray for peace, and set our fear out in the light of Your love.
We long for the day
    When we will beat our swords into ploughshares.
    When tools for destruction will be used for creation, beauty, and sustenance.
    When the lion will lie down with the lamb, and a little child will lead them.

May the day of Christ Jesus come quickly.

Amen