Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE TWENTIETH OF APRIL, 2018

OPENING PRAYER

God of mercy, you wash away our sins in water, you give us a new birth in the Spirit and redeem us in the blood of Christ. As we celebrate Christ's resurrection, increase our awareness of these blessings and renew your gift of life within us. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

CANTICLE

The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;
the Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky,
our Christ has brought us over, with hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil, that we may see aright
the Lord in rays eternal of resurrection light;
and listening to his accents, may hear, so calm and plain,
his own "All hail" and, hearing, may raise the victor strain.

Now let the heavens be joyful! Let earth the song begin!
Let the round world keep triumph, and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen their notes in gladness blend,
for Christ the Lord has risen, our joy that has no end.

( John of Damascus, 675-749 )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Columbine High School massacre

On this day in 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed thirteen people and injured twenty-four others before committing suicide at Columbine High School located in Jefferson County, Colorado. Although their motives remain unclear, the personal journals of the two document that they wished their actions to rival the Oklahoma City bombing, as well as other deadly attacks that occurred in the United States in the 1990s.

The magnitude of the dead and injured shocked the world. The massacre sparked debate over gun control laws, the availability of firearms within the United States and gun violence involving youths. Much discussion also centred on the nature of high school cliques, subcultures and bullying, in addition to the influence of violent movies and video games in American society.

It was as if for an instant, the curtain was drawn back to expose an American culture out of control. There was a lot of blaming going on, and plenty of people to blame. Where were the parents? Where were the school administrators? How could two teenagers amass so many bombs and have access to these kinds of weapons? It was a sobering thought indeed, to realise how much more deadly their attack might have been had they been more competent in building and detonating the bombs designed to explode in the school cafeteria during lunch hour.

On the fourteenth of February, this year, another school shooting in Parkland, Florida seems to have galvanised public opinion to march and seek meaningful gun control legislation. This movement, led by students from the school in Parkland, may be the turning point in the debate.

Another area where there has been growing attention and awareness has been the reality of school bullying. Both Harris and Klebold recorded that they had been the subject of school bullying for at least four years. The out-and-out persecution of school children by other schoolchildren, enhanced by the power of social media has produced some meaningful change in school policies and penalties.

Let today be a day to pray for all children, the bullied and the bullies, those who are popular and unpopular, those with good family support and poor family support.

In the first chapter of "Lamentations," at verse fourteen, we read:

My transgressions were bound into a yoke; by his hand they were fastened together; they weigh on my neck, sapping my strength; the Lord handed me over to those whom I cannot withstand.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the safety of the world's children whilst they are at school.

... for children who are bullied and for an end to the culture of bullying within schools.

... for the removal of guns and knives from youth culture.

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "The Problem of Pain" by C. S. Lewis:

The holiness of God is something more and other than moral perfection: his claim upon us is something more and other than the claim of moral duty. I do not deny it: but this conception, like that of corporate guilt, is very easily used as an evasion of the real issue. God may be more than moral goodness: he is not less. The road to the promised land runs past Sinai. The moral law may exist to be transcended: but there is no transcending it for those who have not first admitted its claims upon them, and then tried with all their strength to meet that claim, and fairly and squarely faced the fact of their failure.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord our God, you see your children growing up in an uncertain and confusing world. Walk with them in life and keep the evil one from obstructing their path. Order their steps and guide their feet while they run the race of faith. Help us appreciate their ideals and sympathise with their frustrations, as together we look for a better world than either we or they have known; through Jesus Christ our saviour and lord. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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