Saturday, November 14, 2015

Prayers for the People (69)

Two days ago I wrote my dad, a Navy veteran, a note. I thanked him for his service to our country throughout modern history -- he was in the Navy during Vietnam and the rest of the Cold War, and, after retiring, worked in anti-terrorism. He was part of three great western conflicts, and numerous small ones (though no conflict is truly small to those who are in it). 

From time to time, a culture corporately exhales and says, "Ah, it is over." But then the next ferocious enemy arises. It hunts at us with a different set of teeth and claws, but with the same spirit. Perhaps it hunts us with weapons, or intrigue, or guerrilla warfare, or terror -- or even (especially?) ideas.

A bloody pageant of cruelty and injustice is being played out around the world and in our own country, but Christians, of all people, must never be surprised. 

And along with terror and injustice always comes great stories of boldness, bravery, clarity. We will soon hear stories of people who were very brave, who resisted, who tended the hurting, who shared the gospel in word and deed.

Today after the events on Paris, which are the most recent part of a sustained effort to terrorize around the world, I want to skip ahead in the Book of Common Prayer to this prayer, number 69, entitled "On Sunday."

69. On Sunday

O God our King, by the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
on the first day of the week, you conquered sin, put death to
flight, and gave us the hope of everlasting life: Redeem all
our days by this victory; forgive our sins, banish our fears,
make us bold to praise you and to do your will; and steel us
to wait for the consummation of your kingdom on the last
great Day; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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