O Lord our God, You who have revealed Your unquenchable wrath against the incomprehensible violence of evil men that multiplies sorrow and suffering of Your Creation (Proverbs 11:5); And by Your Word You teach us that You do not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone (Lamentations 3:33); So, we pray, O Lord, in Your mercy, send Your love and compassion with the healing blessing from heaven and the comforting presence of Your Spirit upon the shocked and grieving community of Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—comfort to the bereaved, healing to the wounded, peace to the hearts of all, justice to the offender; And, O Lord, strength the visible and organic unity of our People, Jewish and Christian, so that we all may all trust in Your promises and stand hopefully in Your infallible Word: “No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise” (Isaiah 60:18); With deep longing of the prophets for such peace, with the inconsolable cry arising from within Jesus at the death of Lazarus, and, yet, with unshakable hope in You, we offer this doxology in the darkness, this single candle in the storm; And
“No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders . . .
Lest we forget Your mercy shown in the horror of today’s events, we thank You, O God, for the rich blessing of our courageous law enforcement officers, the ever-vigilant medical first-responders, and the attentive civic leaders—all ministers of Your justice—who rush into the chaos from which we must flee; and we remember to pray for clergy and lay leadership at Tree of Life, for Rabbia Myers, for the family of the child in the special service today, for families, for the aged, for the children who witnessed this horrific act of insanity; that they may be assured that the poor followers of our Savior, Jesus Christ, a son of David, of the Tribe of Judah, remember St. Paul’s admonition to show honor to our spiritual forefathers and mothers, our larger family, with all due gratitude (Romans 9:5); And stand in loving unity with the Hebrew congregations around the world, and with all who seek to live a peaceable and quiet life, loving God and loving our Neighbor. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.