Thompson offers Lenten lament in response to Kansas City shooting and other violence

On Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, a mass shooting after Kansas City’s Super Bowl celebration took the life of one person and wounded more than 20 others. Meanwhile, political discourse and policy debate in the United States put at risk migrants and asylum seekers at the southern border. In other parts of the world, war and violence continue to escalate, threatening children and families. In the midst of this, United Church of Christ General Minister and President, the Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, offers a Lenten lament for those who are suffering.

As a parent has compassion on their children, 
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear God; 
for God knows how we are formed, 
    God remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 103:13-14

Turn your ear, Holy One, to the cries of your people as we join our hearts in lamentation and repentance. Ash and oil, bullets and bombs, but somehow not enough bread. For suffering is met with more suffering and compassion seems in short supply. 

Celebrations become nightmares in an instant, while — in twisted irony — guns, protected by laws, proliferate. Rivers and borders are turned into death traps. An eye for an eye has made the world short-sighted to children who are starved in body and starving for justice. Dust and rubble are everywhere. 

We know, O God, that we are created from dust — and given life by the breath of your Spirit. Yet so many forces are bent on violently reducing life to dust. Open our eyes to the spark of life contained in each dust-borne miracle. Move us together to name the pain in our world and to join our will against it. 

In this season of Lent, lead us from lamentation to action as we repent of the violence against your children and work for the flourishing of all. Amen.

Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ


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