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Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers...

This week my heart aches. My eyes sting with tears. My chest wells with anger. I join the lament of the Psalmist:
“How long, Lord? How long?”
How long will Black lives be treated without regard?
How long will coronavirus cases and deaths rise?
How long will the waters and winds rage?
How long will fires force people to flee?
How long, Lord? How long?

I don’t know about you, but this past week I’ve felt sorrow, anger, fear, and more. I have found myself seeking solace and comfort, yes, but also seeking answers and action. As I read this week’s Scripture, Mathew 16:21-28, I wonder too if these were the feelings Peter felt as he rebuked Jesus and said that the terrible things Jesus spoke of, the pain he was yet to endure, should not happen. Sorrow. Anger. Fear.

The words Jesus offers next do not offer immediate comfort. They do not allow Peter or the other disciples to turn away, to ignore the hardships, the violence, the injustices of this world, but to face them. This week’s Scripture and the suffering of this world, so evident this week, compel us to ask ourselves what it means to be disciples, followers of Jesus, in the face of terrible suffering and injustice. What will we say? What will we do? How do we find the courage and strength and empathy required to live and love as Jesus did for the long haul when the weight of this world seems unbearable?

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers...

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