“A voice is heard in Ramah,
mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
— Jeremiah 31.15, NIV
Today, I’m finding it hard to focus on anything but the school shooting that took place in Texas yesterday. Like many of you, I’m sure, I’m looking at the various comments and reflections on television and social media. I thought I would just pass along some of the words I’ve found helpful as I deal with my own sadness, anger, and disillusionment.
The quote from Jeremiah came to me in an email from the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church. Rachel lived in the 18 century BC. In the book of Jeremiah, she is mentioned as weeping for her children who were taken away in captivity to Babylon. That phrase “refusing to be comforted” really resonates with me. I’m hearing that refusal in the demands for change in our country.
Today, United Church of Christ pastor and author, Maren Tirabassi, posted a prayer on her blog. It concludes with these words:
Be Parent to parents everywhere
terrified to send their children to school.
Be Teacher to teachers,
with the right words to say,
and turn every school administrator
into a Guide and Light
for the path to come.
Holy One, who calls – Woe
upon all who put a stone for stumbling
before any child, have mercy on us
if we do not remove weapons
from the hands of children,
and from the schools of children.
Perhaps the simplest and most helpful comment I’ve read came from a dear friend and colleague on a Facebook post. She suggested this is a day to do whatever we need to do, and feel whatever we need to feel. She encouraged her followers to scream if they need to scream and cry if they need to cry. I believe that is sage advice. This is an important to time to care for ourselves. Places like Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas might seem far away, but tragedy there has an impact on all of us. We are all connected.
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
Pastor Eric’s Installation
I was so touched by the service of installation, the reception, the gifts, and the many expressions of joy and gratitude on Sunday. I’m aware that a lot of hard work went into that special day. I cannot adequately thank you for all that was done to make it so special. I’m also mindful that it was not about me, personally. I see this as a next chapter for First Parish Church. I’m so glad we exchanged vows together. This is my church. -Eric
Together, we can bring Christ's word and work to the world.