Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 1 Thess. 4:13
Heavenly Father, not again. Not another unthinkable act of wickedness . . . so soon, too soon. We begin this day with heavy hearts, fearful hearts, angry hearts. Our hearts break for the family of believers at First Baptist Church, the community of Sutherland Springs, and those living in the greater San Antonio area.
We share their shock; we enter their pain. Father, show us how to love in the place of so much loss. Show us how to pray in the face of such great evil.
We grieve for families who lost children and siblings, parents and friends. We grieve for a small town subjected to such a huge tragedy. We grieve for a church whose worship of Jesus was violated with gunfire and death. We grieve for ourselves; and we own our feelings of vulnerability and confusion.
And we hope. Evil doesn’t get the last word; Jesus does. His cross defeated evil. His resurrection routed death. His love trumps hate. His reign anchors our hope. His peace centers our hearts. His compassion moves us forward. His return will complete the Story. Hallelujah.
Father, with tears on our cheeks and hands raised in praise, we trust you. Lead us in these coming hours and days. May we grieve with hope, lament with peace, and love with abandon. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’s triumphant and tender name.