The scripture for today is Hebrews 13: 1-3; 15-16 (NIV)
“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
I am writing this the day after one of the saddest weekends I can remember. Thirty-one innocent people died in mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, with several others injured. Hate and evil was responsible for these devastating incidents. However, a few hopeful stories emerged from these tragedies. A nurse, who was running for her life in Ohio, pushed past her fear and stopped to provide CPR and medical attention to the wounded and dying. She also organized those around her with instructions on how they could to do the same. Two new parents, in Walmart picking up school supplies for their older children, protected the body of their two-month-old baby with their own and gave their lives to save his. And when the public in both cities heard that there was a need, blood donors circled the block at hospitals, and donations of food, water and comfort were brought to the facility that was holding victims until they could be reunited with family members. Vigils were held where the public mourned together, while praying for those affected by these shooting and singing hymns to the Lord.
So sad, yet in the sadness comes hope. These people kept and I believe will keep loving and supporting each other in the weeks ahead. Those helpers who stopped to minister to the injured around them may have also been ministering to angels, and they themselves were angels. In times like these, we need to listen to the words of Hebrews and continually offer sacrifices of praise to God and continue to do good and share ourselves with those who need us. The world is hard, but Jesus has overcome the world and we can draw comfort and hope in those words.
Dear God, We rejoice in you always. We ask you to come to us and comfort us in trying times. Please be with those who are mourning this day and every day and help us be the helpers who minister to them. Amen
Karla Gerke firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern: Those affected by the shootings in Texas and Ohio along with all others affected by violence in our world.