Here Lies LoveNew Every Morning | August 16, 2020
Note: This week’s New Every Morning reflections are structured differently to follow the format of our featured title, Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice, which addresses issues of social justice through reflection and over 50 call-and-response prayers known as litanies.
I’m sitting in a dark room listening to Yo Yo Ma and crying over the death of another Black teen I saw on the news—this one for playing his music too loudly. I’m remembering the teen boy in my community who was killed in a drive-by shooting and how the kids at the center where I worked grieved so deeply for him. I’m angered by migrant children dying of thirst and homeless people dying of exposure. I’m confused by the death of a mother whose daughters are still toddlers. I want to honor these lives by grieving their deaths well, but I’m overcome. I’m trying to remember Jesus—not only as the crucified one but also as the victor over sin and death.
—Osheta Moore with Britney Winn Lee, Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice (Fresh Air Books, 2020)
How does remembering Jesus help you with grief? Join the conversation.
The LORD is a safe place for the oppressed—
a safe place in difficult times.
—Psalm 9:9 (CEB)
ONE: Jesus, you can empathize with us as we grieve. You, Lord, have sat
with the trauma of loss. You know the anger, sadness, and confusion that
comes when death visits your loved ones. You know because you wept for
the loss of your friend. Weep with us today, Lord. We trust in you to meet
us in this space. Remind us that we are not alone.
ALL: Come, Lord Jesus, bring us comfort.
ONE: Lord, teach us the power of lament, and give us courage to weep with
those who weep. Surround us and those who have been shaken by tragedy
with love and community. Give us new resolve to love ourselves and
ALL: Come, Lord Jesus, bring us connection where this death has brought
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
The final litany from Rally was written by Britney Winn Lee in the beginning days of the global pandemic. This prayer reminds us that hope endures; goodness prevails; people surprise us; and love cannot, has not, will not fail. Watch and listen.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
Remembering Jesus – and how He willing accepted incredible, immeasurable suffering. I think of how He pleaded with His Father to “let this cup pass”, yet ultimately yielded His will. He endured suffering without striking back, without complaint, with humbleness. This is the road map for us. To accept the path God has placed before us. We are called to suffer well, to drink from the cup of a grace disguised, to welcome His comfort in the midst of hardship. And, yes, we are to be a comfort to others in their trials, to be a presence to them, to acknowledge the struggle.
Robert – the color of my room is “rainforest mist”, but I am calling it “Siesta Key Green”. It reminds me of the color of the Gulf of Mexico at Siesta Key – where I met up with my parents for three February’s before my mom got sick. I just love it and it pops against my white woodwork trim and white wicker furniture. I am hoping to get to the beach over winter break to buy some nice seashore accents for my walls. It’s probably brighter than what my mom would like. She loved softer aquas – and so much of her color scheme revolved around varying shades of aqua.
Father – I pray for teachers, administrators and students this school year, some of which have already begun. I pray for endurance, patience, flexibility and adaptability. For students who need interaction and the safety found in school, away from the instability of home. For teachers who are parents and must teach remotely, while trying to manage their children’s remote learning as well. For those who fall in the vulnerable/compromised category – may needed precautions be taken.
The song – “He’s got the whole world in His hands” comes to mind. Father – yes – we will continue to trust in You.