Rioting on Sunday Morning

It seems only two minutes since I found myself standing before the congregation as a “community leader” to talk about the headline news from Norway.  And yet, here I find myself once more.  It is a strange place to be as people look to me to try and make sense of the world around them.  The church can sometimes just stick its head in the sand on a Sunday morning and carry on regardless.  “Riots you say?  What riots”?  I find myself unable to do that.  Perhaps it is a failing of mine and I should add it to the ever-growing list.  No matter where I turn I can’t escape the incarnational God who gets his hands dirty.  I can’t skirt around the God who told us to pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as in Heaven”. 

You may have noticed that I have been strangely silent on the blog this week.  Mostly this has been because I have felt a bit numb.  Living in the UK and watching it descend into chaos is all too reminiscent of The Dark Night.  Fortunately we live in a part of the city that hasn’t seen any unrest.  West Yorkshire police dealt with any flickers of trouble around Leeds and Huddersfield brilliantly and we did not see the same level of unrest as others.  However, the whole country seems to be gripped by fear.  I spoke to my brother earlier in the week about the football match we are going to this afternoon.  He was wanting to call it off.  The mood in our community is troubled. 

Some how tomorrow I will stand up and try to help our community make sense of all of this.  I will try to encourage them to be part of the future.  To start to bring that kingdom to our communities. 

I have put together some simple prayers that we will use.  Then we will pray the prayer from the CofE website in solidarity with our nation wide community.

Father in heaven,

In our homes.

Your kingdom come, your will be done.

In our families

Your kingdom come, your will be done.

In our communities

Your kingdom come, your will be done.

In our cities

Your kingdom come, your will be done.

On our streets

Your kingdom come, your will be done.

In our parks

Your kingdom come, your will be done.

In our schools

Your kingdom come, your will be done.

In our police forces

Your kingdom come, your will be done.

In our town hall

Your kingdom come, your will be done.

In our government

Your kingdom come, your will be done.

Gracious God,
We pray for peace in our communities this day.
We commit to you all who work for peace and an end to tensions,
And those who work to uphold law and justice.
We pray for an end to fear,
For comfort and support to those who suffer.
For calm in our streets and cities,
That people may go about their lives in safety and peace.
In your mercy, hear our prayers,
now and always.

Amen

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One Response

  1. This is very good.

    I don’t know why you should be guarded about prayer or preaching on the significant events of the day: they are part of the lives of us all and therefore have a right to be brought before God. They say you should preach with a copy of the bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. Jesus himself spoke of the tower of Siloam which was clearly a current event and wove his message into that current affair.

    Be encouraged, Robb and help them make sense of a world not to be shied away from but to be engaged withe.

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