Call to Worship for a Tragic Week

Sometimes, it’s just too much. The death and injuries caused by the bombs at the Boston marathon are heartbreaking. The talk of terrorist plots is deeply frightening–both because of what it means might happen to “us,” and what such talk might lead “us” to do to “them”–whoever “they” are. And then there was an earthquake that killed and injured many people in Iran and Pakistan–overshadowed by other news here in the U.S., yet devastating for hundreds, thousands of people. And the poisoned letters sent to politicians. And the bird flu epidemic in China. . . . Can we press pause for just a moment?

I do think that worship is an opportunity for us to pause. Not to deny or ignore the tragedy in the world, but maybe to put the tragedy into a broader perspective. To mourn with those who mourn. To let the Spirit intercede for us with sighs too deep for words. To be still and know–again–that God is God.

Here is a call to Worship I wrote for this week based on Philippians 4:1-7:

In the midst of bombings and earthquakes,
The Lord is near.
In the midst of poisoned mail and disease outbreaks,
The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God:
Our Creator, grant healing.
Our Redeemer, grant compassion.
Our Sustainer, carry us in your mercy.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds,
will guard our minds and our hearts
in Christ Jesus. Amen.

*The plain text is to be read by the leader, the bold by the congregation, and the bold italics by all. You are welcome to use this material in your own worship.

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2 thoughts on “Call to Worship for a Tragic Week

  1. Thank you for such a poignant call to worship. God’s people have always been called to gather in times of lament, praise, and thanksgiving. This week it is heavy hearts that gather and claim the promise that God is with us.

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