Most Holy and Gracious God,
Today we thank you for breath; life-giving breath. We give thanks for all that we take in today; oxygen for our lungs, education for our minds, beauty for our souls, food for our strength.
Merciful God, today we gather in the shadow of the Parkland School shooting. We collectively exhale sorrow, grief, fear, outrage. How long O God, how often, how horrifying must it be before we set aside politics, and deal with the ongoing crisis of guns, students and schools? We repent for our slowness to act in the face of eight school shootings and student deaths in the last year.
Renewing God, in the face of tragedy in our schools, let us not forget the good work you have done through us. Today, somewhere in the world a baby will be delivered, a teacher will inspire first graders, a pastor will comfort those who mourn, a police officer will make our streets safer, a woman or man will lead a business that will employ and bring meaning and purpose for others, a disciple will share the Gospel so that souls will be renewed.
Today God we recognize our life is a balance of inhaling and exhaling, giving and receiving, laughing and mourning. Help us, God, to create better education for future minds, beauty for the yearning of today’s souls and the will to act to create a better world.