ROANOKE/STAUNTON
BI-DISTRICT

The United Methodist Church
Virginia Conference

From the District Office

A Prayer

A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more. Matthew 2:18

God of our birth, God of our life,

God of our life after death,

Come into our midst, even now

And hear our loud lamentation

For children and teachers who are no more,

O crucified redeemer,

Wade into this blood that we so needlessly shed

In our sacrifices to the false gods

of complacency and violence.

And hear our loud lamentation

For silent classrooms, hallways,

Cafeterias and playgrounds

For how our love of violence

And our complacency in its midst

Has silenced the voices of children and their teachers

Who are no more.

Have mercy, O Lord

On grieving families.

Have mercy, O Lord

On grieving communities

Have mercy, O Lord

On all of us who now live in a smaller world

Devoid of those who have perished

Have mercy, O Lord

On a future that will come without those lives lost

And all they could have become.

And have mercy on those of us who remain in this life

Forgive us for our sin.

Create in us a hunger and thirst for righteousness and peace

That cannot be quenched by the bromide of the status quo.

May we all work tirelessly,

To so order our lives after the example of Christ

That all children in all places may know

Communities of steadfast love and forgiveness

Until the day comes when parents no longer bury their children

When all tears are wiped away

And the blood of the innocents

No longer waters the seeds of idolatry.

Enable us to partner with You, O crucified redeemer,

Make us to know that your name means “God with us,”

And that we are not alone, even now.

Smash our graven images.

Make plows from our swords

Bring to bear the world, the future,

Of which the prophets dreamed

For which the holy child of God was crucified;

a Kingdom of peace

and justice

and shalom.

Amen.

Posted: 1 June, 2022