October 13, 2023
We pray for all who are in harm’s way.
We hold them in our hearts.
We hold all the children in our hearts.
We hold all the elderly and the vulnerable in our hearts.
Our fate is bound up in theirs.
We pray for all who have died; may their lives be for a blessing.
We pray for all who work for an end to this killing and violence.
We pray for our friends and neighbors who are mourning,
who are afraid, who wait for news.
God, with all the desperation of our hearts we plead:
may it be true that peace will yet come.
For all that cannot be fully expressed in words,
when words have poor power, we still pray.
A chaplain’s interfaith prayer in war
Beloved, I had another reflection planned for today, but it has been hard for me, as I’m sure it has been for you, to turn my heart and mind away from the heartbreak of the war in Israel and Palestine. My prayers have been especially with my Jewish family, friends, and colleagues, some with loved ones in Israel, and others deciding as late as this morning whether to send their children to school given antisemitic threats and calls for violence here in the US. At times like this, we turn to our faith looking for answers and hope. The answers may not always be clear, but in our faith, a way forward towards hope, compassion, and peace does always emerge. In gathering together, praying together, grieving together, wrestling with our faith and discerning how to move forward in love together, there is always hope.
This week’s scripture reading is the story of Ruth and Naomi, two women from different lands and religions who reach across their differences with a love that changes history. The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), of which UCW is a part, sent a note to clergy this week – not a statement, but a call for each of us in that very diverse group to stand alongside one another in a common place of grief. The note said, “More is called for than shared grief, of course, but shared grief is one way to offer and receive solidarity in this season, even amidst our differences. And it is one opportunity to practice love in the service of justice.” Come this Sunday to worship with hope, pause and pray for peace, and consider where love is calling you. There is much work to be done, dear church. May we do it together with God’s guidance.
With Blessings and Peace,
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