Holy God, Light of our Hope,

On this day of Epiphany, we seek the rising of your Star

the Light that promises a season of Peace

and illuminates the breaking in of your healing presence in our world.

--a star that this night will rise over a community in turmoil and grief.


We remember how once long ago,

the questions of the Wise, who sought your Holy Child, were answered by the violence of Herod

and Rachel's inconsolable weeping.


We come to you in sorrow, not as the Wise,

 but as a people confused, anxious, and deeply distressed.

We pray for the victims, survivors and witnesses who faced violence this day in the Hollywood-Ft Lauderdale Airport: young adults returning to school, families reuniting after holidays, people at work or at play, never expecting…this.

We pray for the families of those who have been lost,

            those wounded and all who watch and wait.

We give thanks for police and first responders who rushed into uncertainty to help and to heal, and for neighbors and strangers who have reached out to comfort and shelter.

We see in them, the acts of the Wise, and the Light of your love.


God of Light, whose presence we yearn toward in these dark days,

after the shouts of fear and the echo of gunfire have fallen silent:

We no longer know how, or what to pray.

Our hearts have broken so often, we cannot feel.

Our hope has been tried, and, we confess in sorrow, has been found wanting.

There has been too much violence, and not enough answers

too many lost lives with too little time to grieve them all

too much talk and not enough action

too much violation of the ordinary and not enough grasp of the holy to hold us fast.


But You, oh God: beyond our words, beneath our hope:

            be the creative breath that orders our chaos and challenges our illusion of order

            be the compassionate arms that enfold us in distress and fear

            be our will to transform this darkness into your light

            be the Love that is stronger than death.


We ask you again, for we have nowhere else to turn—

Hold us fast, when we cannot hold on any longer.

Walk with us through the valley of the shadow

Turn us away from despair, that we may not grow weary in well-doing


Triune God, grant us passion, courage, and peace:

    …the passion of your love that conquers fear and evil

    …the courage of your Son, who rebuked the way of violence by laying down his life

    …the peace of your Spirit, beyond our divisions, to bind us together as one family

in your kindom of mercy and peace.


The Rev. Dr. Laurie A Kraus

Coordinator, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Worship resources after public violence

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