Prayers for Edmonton and Vegas
From Rev. Nancy Nourse
Sunday morning we woke up to an act of terrorism in the news…a police officer stabbed, a truck speeding down a busy street, pedestrians hit, a suspect arrested.
Must be London or Barcelona.
No. It was Edmonton. So much closer to home.
Images like these are very difficult to deal with. And yet by the end of the day, friends, neighbours, and politicians had gathered for a candlelit vigil to be in solidarity together. People twittered, “We stand together. All faiths. All cultures. We will not be divided” Neighbours linked arms, lit candles, and shared their emotions and concerns.
Then Monday we awoke to headlines of terror and chaos again. People relaxing and enjoying a music festival in the most play-filled city in the world massacred by a lone gunman.
There’s so much fear in our world right now. And fear is a normal, human emotion, but I am thankful we don’t let fear have the last word. Within minutes of that shower of bullets in Las Vegas, there were countless examples of courage, bravery, and selfless acts. And through the day, people lined up for hours to donate blood.
It’s times like this we turn to our faith to find hope, strength, and answers. When we hear our scriptures, we stand in a long line of people who have spoken words that bring hope in the midst of despair, rejoicing in the midst of sorrow, and life in the midst of death. God’s love is not overshadowed by tragedy, violence, or the horror that one human being might inflict on another. These are the times and places when the comfort and hope of God’s presence speaks so forcefully. God’s love was demonstrated most forcefully in the midst of the unspeakable violence and cruelty of a crucifixion. And that wasn’t the end of the story. Resurrection showed us that while violence and death are real and often horrible, it is never the last word.
May we hold in prayer the first responders, all those dealing with injuries from bullets, the families of those who lost loved ones, and all the people whose lives are forever changed because of the chaos and terror they experienced that night.
Don’t let fear win. Don’t give in to hate being the response. Instead respond with love. Reach out to a neighbour. Show kindness in some way. Stand together like people in Edmonton Sunday night, and like people in the crowd did in Las Vegas. Good things come through kindness and care for one another. And we all need each other.