August 6, 2018

Dear LABC,

I am happy to be at my desk following a good vacation. While I was enjoying some pleasant days there were many in our congregation, city and world who were enduring the most wrenching of experiences. Thus, it seems fitting that my sermon this Sunday will be “On Not Stuffing It Down,” I will speak of the power and importance of lament.

It is in that vein that I share the following Prayer For the Victims of Fire from ReformJudaism.org.

Today again my complaint is bitter;
My strength is spent on account of my groaning.
Would that I knew how to reach God,
How to get to God’s dwelling place.
(Job 23:2-3)

We, like Job, are weary from grieving:
Grieving for a lost sense of safety in this world.
Grieving for homes and memories lost.
Grieving for souls extinguished before their time.
Grieving for communities that bear witness to the unbearable
and must somehow go on.

Hear our voice, Eternal God;
Have compassion upon us,
And accept our prayer with favor and mercy,
For You are a God who hears prayer and supplication.
We praise You, O God: You hearken to prayer.

Prayers for the grieving. Prayers for all. Prayers for a wonderful Church Retreat.

See you Sunday.

Jim H.