The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

"Grieving Our Lost Children," Walter Brueggemann

Walter Brueggemann, totally rad theologian, wrote a book called Prayers for a Privileged People. I was thumbing through it for something entirely unrelated, when this caught my attention. It was written following the 2006 shooting at Virginia Tech, I think, and in light of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it bears repeating. It's full of words I was looking for these last few weeks. Glad to have found them, now.

Another brutality,
another school killing,
another grief beyond telling...
   and loss...
     in Colorado,
     in Wisconsin,
     among the Amish,
     in Virginia.
     Where next?

We are reduced to weeping silence,
   even as we breed a violent culture,
   even as we kill the sons and daughters of our "enemies,"
   even as we fail to live and cherish and respect the forgotten of our common life.

There is no joy among us as we empty our schoolhouses;
there is no health among us as we move in fear and bottomless anxiety;
there is little hope among us as we fall helpless before the gunshot and the shriek and the blood and the panic;
we pray to you only because we do not know what else to do.
 
So we pray, move powerfully in our body politic,
      move us toward peaceableness
          that does not want to hurt or kill,
      move us toward justice
          that the troubled and the forgotten may know mercy,
      move us toward forgiveness that we
          may escape the trap of revenge.

Empower us to turn our weapons to acts of mercy,
     to turn our missiles to gestures of friendship,
     to turn our bombs to policies of reconciliation;
and while we are turning,
    hear our sadness,
    our loss,
    our bitterness.

We dare to pray our needfulness to you
    because you have been there on that
    gray Friday,
    and watched your own Son be murdered
          for "reasons of state."

Good God, do Easter!
    Here and among these families,
    here and in all our places of brutality.

Move our Easter grief now...
   without too much innocence--
   to your Sunday joy.
We pray in the one crucified and risen
   who is our Savior and Lord.

"I have come into this world to see this," Hafiz

A Light Shines in the Darkness -- John 1:1-14