The following two prayers/reflections were written following the execution of Andrew Chan and Myurun Sukumaran in Indonesia. The words could easily be adapted for another sorrow, for surely there will be more to come that our nation will be engulfed in in one way or another, as well as sorrow for what happens beyond our own nation. 

There is within me a deep heaviness – a strong-sighing of spirit
a day in which for me life continues as a muted-blessing
yet with an arduousness in which living becomes a burden
and every thought encapsulates a cry of deep-sadness

Is this just me responding with the mood of a nation?

Is this just me being carried along by the build-up of collective emotion?

Or could it be a sharing from within this pit-of-anguish
a deep-care and identification that offers
the possibilities of reconciliation and healing between the nations?

Perhaps a bearing-the-burdens on behalf of the people?
Carrying us all into the arms of Grace Mercy and Forgiveness

Intensely-participating in our nations shared-experience of grief
in ways that may just enable Resurrections to break-out in our lives
with their own surprising new possibilities?

And so –

Strength and Peace in our Ongoing

(c) John Cranmer 2015

A Lament Over Death
Loving God of justice,
Christ of the cross,
Spirit of healing and peace,
Another person is dead,
And another.
Power has been misused.
Anger and violence have prevailed again.
These we know about.
More people are dead.
Many more.
Many we know little about.
Lives have been extinguished.
Their bodies lie quiet.
The grieving weep loudly.
We mourn. We lament.
We long for justice in this world.
We long for mercy in this world.
We long for compassion in this world.
We long for healing in this world.
We long for love in this world.
We long for a different way that restores, reconciles, renews and transforms.
May we be granted wisdom to know what to do.
May we be granted wisdom, so that we might know what part we can play.
May we be granted courage, so that we might take action to end this waste of life.
May it be so!
(c) Jon Humphries, adapted

Blessing When the World is Ending

Look, the world
is always ending

the sun has come
crashing down.

it has gone
completely dark.

it has ended
with the gun
the knife
the fist.

it has ended
with the slammed door
the shattered hope.

it has ended
with the utter quiet
that follows the news
from the phone
the television
the hospital room.

it has ended
with a tenderness
that will break
your heart.

But, listen,
this blessing means
to be anything
but morose.
It has not come
to cause despair.

It is simply here
because there is nothing
a blessing
is better suited for
than an ending,
nothing that cries out more
for a blessing
than when a world
is falling apart.

This blessing
will not fix you
will not mend you
will not give you
false comfort;
it will not talk to you
about one door opening
when another one closes.

It will simply
sit itself beside you
among the shards
and gently turn your face
toward the direction
from which the light
will come,
gathering itself
about you
as the world begins

– Jan Richardson

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Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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