A Prayer for Peace — Advent 2023

December 22, 2023 | Web First - Opinion
Sarah Ens |
(Unsplash photo by Robert Thiemann)

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord.         Save us, God our Savior, gather us and deliver us from the nations. From north to south, nowhere is safe in Gaza. For unto us a child is born and the government shall be upon his shoulders and his name shall be called the Prince of Peace. On him we have set our hope. More than 7,000 Palestinian children have been killed in Gaza since October 7. Thousands more are missing under the rubble amid relentless bombardment.       Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord.         Then Herod, when he had called the wise men, sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search for the young child, a baby, lying in a manger,” under the rubble, amid relentless bombardment. A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.            Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord.     Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the nations might tremble at your presence! Behold: we are all your people. Your holy cities have become a wilderness. Zion has become a wilderness. Jerusalem a desolation. A Palestinian child stands among the rubble. The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the souls of the wounded cry out for help. How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem who were two years old and under. Gaza is once again the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. More than 18,500 people have been killed in Palestine since October 7. He slew all the children that were in Bethlehem and in all the coasts therof.                My God. All joyful sounds are banished from the earth.           Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord.      The shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened.” For he will deliver the needy, the afflicted who have no one to help. A mother cries for her daughter, who was killed in the bombardment on Saturday. A rescuer covers the body of a child killed in a raid.                     Out of the depths, I hear the word of the Lord:               Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.            I put my hope in your word. As members of one body we are called to peace. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Seek peace and pursue it. Amen.

(Unsplash photo by Robert Thiemann)

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