Another weekend filled with gun violence in our nation – sadly, this is becoming common, almost expected! In Buffalo, NY, a young white man, fueled by hateful racist rhetoric, took a semi-automatic weapon into a grocery store and murdered 9 shoppers and one security guard. In Laguna Woods, CA, a gunman walked into a church building while the members of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church were having a meal together; he shot and killed one person and injured five others. And these are just two of the mass shootings in our country this past week.
Today I went to the PCUSA website and searched for ‘prayers in response to gun violence;’ a list with 1,730 results appeared; the first page alone had 10 such prayers, dated from 2015 to 2020. This is part of a ‘Prayer for Community Impacted by Gun Violence,’ dated, October 1, 2015, written by the Rev. Dr. Laurie Ann Kraus:
Once again, Holy One, we cry, how long, O Lord?
We wonder, when will it be enough?
We pray you will forgive our tolerance of cultures of violence
and impel us by your Spirit to renew our commitment
to work for an end to gun violence in our nation.
In the wake of an event that should be impossible to contemplate but which has
become all too common in our experience,
Open our eyes, break our hearts,
and turn our hands to the movements of your Spirit,
that our anger and sorrow may unite in service to build a reign of peace,
where the lion and the lamb may dwell together,
and terror no longer holds sway over our common life.