As we attempt to talk with God and with one another, there are no words that can adequately respond to the horror of the murders and shootings that took place in Aurora, Colorado one week ago today. The Christian scriptures speak about how there are times when we do not know how to pray or what to say. In such times God’s very own spirit speaks for us with sighs too deep for words (Romans 8:26). Sometimes our most heartfelt prayers are surely these sighs that go far beyond the limits of language and our capacity to speak.
One week later, we remain bound together by the pain of our grief, our shock and our outrage. We continue to share the horror of unspeakable tragedy and unimaginable devastation. We are still one in the ache of our sorrow, the agony of our confusion and the tension our anger.
Our hearts go out to our sisters and brothers in Aurora: to the families who now have an empty place at their tables, to those who wait anxiously with their recovering loved ones, to those who risked their very lives to protect as much of life as they possibly could, and to the one who inflicted this unnecessary awfulness on so many others including his own home and family.
In a time like this we are grateful that we are not alone. Rather, we have one another: shoulders to cry on and arms to hold us as we shed our tears and share our fears. We are grateful, too, that the Creator of us all cries with us now and holds us so very close as together we find our way into the future.
We do not pretend that violence and death are not part of our world. Instead, we proclaim that violence and death are not the ultimate truths in life. The truths in life, the power in life, the meaning and purpose in life is found in other realities described in other words like these: compassion, courage, kindness, faith, mercy, forgiveness, gentleness, reconciliation, community, hope, prayer, peace and unconditional love.
We continue to pray for mercy, comfort and healing for all who suffer from the violence of July 20th in Aurora, Colorado.
Please keep our beloved church in your prayers. I remember you in mine. I’ll see you Sunday.