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Shabbat Video Message: Sweetness Shared from a Kiddush Fountain

My Shabbat Video Message and My Prayer for Today

A Prayer for the Nation on the Event of Another Shooting

Adapted from prayer by Minister Mark Sandlin

Vandalia Presbyterian Church, Greensboro, NC

 

 

Eloheinu veilohei avoteinu v’imoteinu

Our God and God of our fathers and mothers,

Rachmana,

Compassionate One,

 

Yet again,

our nation grieves.

Yet again,

the life of a child has been cut

dreadfully short.

Yet again,

we all rally to our political centers

to cry out

for our guns,

for our rights,

for our safety,

for rational thought…

 

and…

we forget.

We forget

that a child

who should be here

with us…

is not.

We forget

that a family,

a community,

a nation mourns.

We forget

that our decisions

impact lives

and that impact has

a ripple effect.

We forget

that life is

more important,

more central,

more valuable,

than anything else

we have.

 

and…

we are far too ready

to hand life away.

 

We are far too ready

to miss the emphasis

to which you call us.

We are far too ready,

to let our political allegiances

distract us from

the things you desire.

We are far too ready

to turn to our TVs and internet

for what to think

rather than to the love

too which you call us.

Yes,

we are far too ready

to hand life away –

the lives of others –

and even,

the life to which you call us.

 

And…

we must change.

 

We must change

our focus.

Let us no longer

focus on others

as the target of our

convictions

but rather

let us

focus on others

as the target of our

concern,

and caring,

and love.

We must change,

the national dialogue

from one of

disagreements,

dismissals

and disingenuous “debate”

to one of

truly listening,

thoughtfully considering

and deeply loving

those we may have once

seen as “the other side.”

 

And…

we must learn.

 

We must learn

that there truly is

only one side –

the side of humanity,

the side of life,

the side of love.

We must learn

to bracket out

all of the voices

that ask us to focus

on anything other than

each other.

We must learn

that love is

the only thing that can

cure this illness

that plagues our nation.

 

And…

we must act.

 

We must act now.

Not after another death.

Not after another leader

is injured.

Not after another misguided child

hurts themselves and others.

Not after another family

spends a lifetime mourning.

Not after another survivor

struggles for full recovery.

Now.

We must act

 

and…

we must do it

in love.

 

Not divisiveness.

Not political posturing.

Not disrespectful dialogue.

Not parroting

the talking heads on TV.

 

We must do it

one on one

with open hearts,

with open minds

and a willingness

to see the humanity

of those with whom we disagree.

 

Only then

can this illness

which has a grip on our nation

begin to be treated.

 

So we ask

that we might be filled with the Spirit

and that from all of us

there might come

a great outpouring of love

on a scale like never seen before –

because our friends matter,

our family matters,

our children matter –

your children matter.

 

Baruch Ata Adonai

Shomay-ah t’filah.

Blessed are You Merciful One,

And, please, hear our prayer.

Amen.

 

 

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