a difficult week

We pray for our community and our world

We give thanks for this community of faith where we name the sacred, where we are reminded of what it is to be fully human.

In a week where news headlines have been full of disaster and violence, and night after night we hear of deliberate destruction, wanton killing and the deadly consequences of carelessness, it’s easy to ask, how can we be Easter people?  How can our light, our hopeful rainbow, shine in a world that seems to make a travesty of faith?

So we gather, wishing every week could be a celebration of justice, of good decision-making, of love—and In this place made sacred by our presence, we’re reminded that we are the change we wish for in the world.

Empowered by a vision of our world renewed, we hold people and places in our hearts: deeply, compassionately; not naïvely, but thoughtfully, engaged in their healing, and our own.

We wait in the silence, with those who mourn: the people of Boston—three dead, hundreds injured, millions frightened; the brothers, one killed, the other jailed, who thought violence was the way to change.

We share the silence, with those who care: the nurse and two patients who escaped a hospital fire, in Ramensky north of Moscow; the fire fighters who took too long to arrive because a ferry wasn’t working; the families and friends of 38 psychiatric patients who died.

We wait in silence, with the loved ones and dependents of the workers, killed in the collapse of a Bangladeshi factory; and the more than 2000 people rescued, at least half of them injured.

We break the silence – with the textile workers venting their anger, and the thousands more women working in unsafe conditions – making low-cost clothes for Western brands, for victims of earlier building collapses.

We break the silence and raise our voice in protest – on hearing that in Chile four educated, professional people were arrested for the ritual burning of a baby girl because their sect’s leader believed the end of the world was near and that the child was the antichrist.

In this place which we make sacred by our purpose, which we sanctify with singing and speaking, with sharing bread and wine and tears and smiles, we give thanks that there are also stories of courage and love, if we look for them:

leaders and individuals in every sphere who stand up for honesty, fairness and justice; people in business and politics, workers and volunteers, who demand and model ethical behaviour, who work by co-operation not conflict, who speak peace to power.

In this place that we make sacred with our passion, we know again that ours are the thorn-pierced head, the nail-scarred hands and feet, the wounded side—

that our very doubts enrich us, our experiences of brokenness, of loss and grief, of healing, make empathy and forgiveness possible.

We give thanks for this rainbow community of compassion and transformation, where we trust each other, where we re-imagine what it is to be ‘family’.

And here it is, the mystery among the nations, revealed to us again: Christ in us, the hope of glory. Amen