The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon and West, Texas, Tragedies 2013: Standing with and Praying for All Who Suffer

To all who grieve in the wake of the horrendous, evil acts committed at the Boston Marathon and the destructive blast that followed in the West, Texas, fertilizer plant, I stand by you and pray for you in this dark hour. You are not alone in your suffering. You have the support of the caring multitude of humanity who firmly believe every life is precious and we all journey and suffer together and support one another.

I offer up Scripture out of my Christian faith tradition as comfort:

The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. ~Deuteronomy 33:27 (We are never alone.)

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted ~Matthew 5:4 (Jesus teaches us that God and caring humans will come to your aid and your comfort.)

Here's a prayer we can share together for those who died in this attack and plant blast, if you are so inclined:

Eternal Spirit, before whom the generations rise and pass away, even in the presence of death our first words to you are in praise for your unnumbered mercies. For the memory of loved ones now departed, we praise you. For their victories of character over trial, of courage over difficulty, of faith over sorrow, we give you thanks, and for all those who have done justly, loved mercy, and walked humbly with their God, we sing joyfully to you. Grant us now this same joyful thanksgiving as we remember our friend, and give to us that sure knowledge that you have won the victory over death in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Amen

Here is comfort from Jesus Christ for all who were caught up in these events and are suffering. It is assurance that no one can remove you from Jesus' care ... no matter what despicable acts they may commit.

27My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. 30The Father and I are one.” John 10:27-30

Finally, for comfort's sake, Psalm 23: 

1The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
3he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
4Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.
5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long. (You are not promised evil will never come your way, but you are promised that you will never have to face it alone. You are not alone today in your suffering.)

And now, we are all called to take up the very hard work God calls us to, work for which Jesus showed us the way, the work of bringing closer in all we say and do the justice that God wishes all humanity to enjoy, the peaceful community that God envisions for us all. 

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