January 25 – January 25, 2018
O God in whom we live and move and have our
In the course of human events there has always
But today, God, is especially difficult because
six* years ago
at this moment in
Ignorance, fear, hatred and terror stuck the heart
of all humanity.
Thousands of people died:
women, children, men,
mothers, fathers, spouses, siblings,
sons, daughters, cousins, aunts, uncles,
grandparents, strangers, friends,
people from dozens of nations and most every
walk of faith.
Seemingly everyone in our community knew
someone whose life had been shattered.
Our communal heart was broken.
Innocence was lost.
The veiled illusion of security was torn.
We thank you for each one.
We thank you for the courage of local heroes:
police & fire fighters who brought so many
descending the stairs to safety.
Loyal civil servants courageously chose
to walk up the stairs, sacrificing their own lives
We thank you for their selfless love.
We thank you for these seasons in time
that reveal the true preciousness of life.
O God your scriptures tell us
To love our enemies and pray for those who
Lord, that can be so very hard to do
And it may even provoke us to cries of treason.
Yet, you remind us that we Christians, Muslims
Are all your children, born of Abraham.
We pray, dear God, that in this struggle
for the goodness of the collective human soul
that we might not be overwhelmed
by pride, anger, hatred or vengeance.
We pray that we would not lose to hardness of
the God given liberty that defines us.
We pray for the leaders of our community, state,
nation and world
That they might be surrounded by your strong
and loving wisdom.
We pray that your peace and wholeness, your
Will come on earth as it is in heaven.
This prayer was written by The Rev. David Reed-Brown for an interfaith community memorial service on September 11, 2003. He was serving the First Baptist Church in Essex, Connecticut, at the time. It is located on the shoreline just two hours north of New York City. People from the community volunteered in the disaster recovery and most everyone in the region knew a family who had lost someone. The prayer was offered at Town Hall. (*Originally "two")