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In the Office: A Psalm for Manchester

My heart is wounded this morning by news of yet another terrorist attack, this time in Manchester, England. I can’t imagine the grief of parents whose children have been killed and injured in such tragic circumstances; and I have no insight as to what will turn the tide toward peace in a world that seems so hell-bent on hatred, division and violence. All I can do is to add my prayers to the many that are being offered today—prayers that God will comfort those who are dealing with loss, prayers that God will show us a better way forward, and prayers that God will help us to repent of the hatred prejudice in our own hearts that only fuels this kind of brokenness.

Although Psalm 10 is not a selection in today’s Daily Office, I pray that these words might be fitting for the day.

Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.

The LORD is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.

(Psalm 10:12–18)

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