Midweek Message

LABC Update – May 30, 2022

Jim Hopkins

May 29, 2022

A prayer from The Reverend Dr. Cheryl Dudley, Regional Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York
Our God,
There is so much pain in the world right now. Violence is everywhere: often too close to home.
We confess that we sometimes feel pain most acutely when the victims look like us: when they remind us of our parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, children or grandchildren.
We seethe, stew and weep; sometimes we suppress the thoughts or feelings that threaten to undo us.
Open our eyes God, so we may see beyond our own complexions; the hue and shape of our eyes, lips, noses and limbs, and recognize the humanity, beauty and value of all persons. May we all see ourselves in every-one, and seek and want to protect and respect every life.
God in your mercy, transform our hearts.
We also confess, O God, that we often feel self-conscious, even convicted when perpetrators look like us. We feel ashamed and exposed, and want to protect our bodies, hearts and spirits from retaliation and targeting.
God, in your mercy, help us face the truth with courage so we might transform our world.
With unfathomable sorrow we grieve the killing of innocents. In this month alone, young and old have died, or were injured in mass shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, Laguna Woods, Houston and Milwaukee. Our hearts turn also to those beyond our nation, such as Ukraine and other war torn zones. Evil clearly has no borders. The spate of needless deaths are an oozing wound that will not heal.
God, in your mercy, give us the will, the strength, the stamina, and the spirit to love and follow you fully, and love-our-neighbors-as-ourselves.
Your Word, O God, is the balm our spirits need. Too often we deceive ourselves and deflect its meaning. In the power of your Spirit, imbue within us the resolve and the discipline to keep living the truth your teachings reveal.
We pray in the name of the One who taught us to pray as well as walk in the world, Christ our Savior, Amen.

Rev. Dr. Cheryl F. Dudley
Regional Executive Minister
American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York