A Time to Pray-By Rev. Alan Mead
I read and watch news from around the world. News that seems to be increasingly violent. Not simply violent, but violence and hatred focused at specific groups of people. In Europe, acts and words of antisemitism are surfacing and growing. Along the placid shore of the southern Mediterranean Sea the blood of Coptic Christians mingles with the water along a rocky beach as they are beheaded by people of a radical Muslim faith. And around the world many react with retaliation and revenge.
I weep for those who are hurt and who suffer. I weep for children in so many, many places who are cold and hungry today, children who do not see any future, let alone a bright future. Children who are alone. Children with preventable diseases that still surface in frightening ways.
And I remember. I remember that violence and hatred and jealousy and inhumanity have flowed before in our history, often in the name of religion, and I see it happening again. Perhaps not surprisingly I hear those ancient inhumanities in the name of religion being spoken as a rallying cry to violence and revenge. And I weep.
What I know, deeply, is that we must refuse to be overcome by fear or complacency. And for me, that means a response of prayer and action. I will speak words of hope and I will respond within my community with solidarity with people who are Jewish and people who are Muslim and people who have a different faith or no faith. We must work to bring hope and peace. We must never allow another Crusade or another Holocaust through our silence.