Holy Lord, we mourn with those living under the heavy burden of oppression, crying out and asking how long will injustice continue? We join our voices together in lament:  

“How long, O Lord, must we call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” we cry, but you do not come to save. Must we forever see these evil deeds? Why must we watch all this misery? Wherever we look, we see destruction and violence. We are surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous so that justice has become perverted.”

Just King, we mourn with brothers and sisters of color, whose black and brown bodies are overlooked and discarded by a nation whose sinful actions have been ignored and buried in the past we long to forget. We lift our voices to You in lament as we cry:  

“Lord, see our anguish! Our hearts are broken, and our soul despairs, for we have rebelled against you. In the streets, the sword kills, and at home, there is only death…We have cried until the tears no longer come; our heart is broken. Our spirit is poured out in agony as we see the desperate plight of our people. Little children and tiny babies are fainting and dying in the streets…Cry aloud before the Lord…Let your tears flow like a river day and night. Give yourselves no rest; give your eyes no relief. Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children…” 

Loving Father, we mourn in the death of good men and women—black, white, and blue—whose lives were lost in the desire to protect and serve. Like prophets of old, we weep and repent as we sit in sackcloth and heap the ashes of our nation’s original sin upon our heads. Convict us of our complicity and forgive us for our silence and indifference. In lament, we stand together in the midst of our cities and declare:  

“For Christ, himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.”

Holy, Just, and Loving God, we mourn, yes, but as we weep, we remember:

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning…For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.”

Thank you, Father. As we lament, may we not grow silent or comfortable in complacency. Rather, help us to do as you have required, “To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly,” and in so doing, may we find solace in your promises and hope for a tomorrow when our mourning will turn to dancing and our weeping into joy.

– Chris Hardy, Director of Programs & Church Partnership

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1 Habakkuk 1:2-4, New Living Translation
2 Lamentations 1:20, 2:11, 18-19, New Living Translation
 3 Ephesians 2:14-18, New Living Translation
 Lamentations 3:20-23, 31-33, New Living Translation
5 Micah 6:8, New International Version

 

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