Friday, December 14, 2012

A Psalm for a Moment of Tragedy

As we pause to remember the twenty-six lives taken by a gunman in Newtown, CT, eighteen of whom are school children, let us lift them up to the Lord.  Let us pray for the families who grieve.  Let us also pray for those who have been traumatized by the events that have unfolded at this school -- teachers, children, parents, neighbors, the community.  

As we struggle with the madness of the moment, let us join together and find strength in God's presence.  I share here Psalm 46 (NRSV), the Psalm that gave birth to Luther's hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is our God."  May we be still for a moment and know that God is with us, even in this most horrible of moments.

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present[a] help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city;[b] it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.[c]Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.[d]Selah

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