As followers of Jesus Christ, we lift up our prayers for the families of San Bernardino who have suffered loss. We pray for the recovery in body and spirit for those that were wounded. We shake our heads in disbelief and despair as December 2 had two mass shootings in the United States in a year with a record number of mass shootings.
In the days ahead there will be analysis of the reasons a young couple would leave their six-month-old daughter and carry out such an act. Some of that analysis will reveal lines of reasoning that we do not understand. Some of the analysis will tempt to draw us into hates and prejudices that our faith should guard us against. Many of us were saddened to see a 30-round tactical rifle was the main Christmas present promoted in a sales brochure for a national sporting goods retailer the very day after the tragedy.
It is hard in these times of bewildering violence to hold on to this Advent story of a baby that comes to change the world. The change we see in the world appears to be more senseless violence. And yet the very important ministry we have as Presbyterians is to continue to seek an end to violence as we work for that world that God wants to be realized among us.
So, here is a simple prayer for this time:
Lord please wrap your arms around all that suffered loss and need healing in San Bernardino.
Jesus Christ who suffered much for our sake, give us the hearts of servants as we witness to the Gospel.
Holy Spirit empower us to be instruments of your peace in this day in everywhere we walk.
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014)
Larissa Kwong Abazia
Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014)
Tony De La Rosa
Interim Executive Director, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Chair, Presbyterian Mission Agency Board