Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Pastoral Prayer of Remembrance and Healing for 9/11

God of healing and peace, we awoke this day with images in our minds as vivid and visceral as the day we first saw them. We recall our whereabouts, the churning of our stomachs and tears in our eyes, the voices of loved ones over the phone, and the desperation with which we attempted to make sense of a senseless act. And in many ways, we're still trying to give name to all that a day of such tragedy, horror, and suffering even so many years later meant and means for us now.

We take time to remember not just the events themselves, but people past and present affected most intensely. We remember victims' families and the loss with which they still strive to cope. We remember first responders still seeking treatment from physical and mental effects of their fulfilling their duty. We remember entire races and religions living under intense suspicion for the actions of a few. We remember any and all who wrestle with what it means to live a life of forgiveness, peace, and justice in the face of such atrocity and violence.

We remember ourselves and each other, so long after: still remembering, still struggling, still wondering how best to follow and serve you. And as much as we pray for others this day, so do we pray for ourselves. As we seek to be faithful disciples of Jesus, remind us of who we are in a changed reality to which we still awaken.

O God, this day still isn't easy. We pray that you face it with us, showing the way forward that leads to reconciliation and wholeness in a world so fractured. Amen.