This past weekend brought compound tragedy into our world. The earthquake in Haiti, the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, the ongoing spike in COVID…
It has been sorrow on a magnified scale. How do I pray?
One great help to me over the past few weeks is to pray the Great Litany regularly. It is a helpful prayer that covers so much and guides me when I lack words. It is also helpful to be praying through the psalms.
I lift this before the Lord today:
Psalms 82:3-4 Give justice to the lowly and the orphan; maintain the right of the poor and the destitute! Rescue the lowly and needy, Deliver them from the power of the wicked!
Why we need lament: because no matter the bitter partisanship we have devolved to, we are nearing 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus. These are lives lost. Young to old. Poor to rich. Across all ethnic lines. These are lives to remember. These represent families with deep loss in this time of pandemic.
The New York Times put the names of those lost on their front page this weekend. We lament lives lost. We lament with the families who remain.
Over the last couple of years I have toyed around with a book. I have a working title: “Living in Babylon.” Last year I sat down and put all my notes together so I could have some sense of what I had studied over the 2-3 years I had been picking at it.
As I write this, the United States has come to the cusp of 60,000 deaths from coronavirus. That is over the number of American lives lost in the entirety of the Vietnam War. In six weeks.
N T Wright brings such thoughtfulness to his writing and this piece is a must read in our time. We think that surely our faith brings answers to big questions like these. Wright’s contention is this: Christianity isn’t supposed to do that.