Lord, in your mercy – how long? And so today, it has hit home in yet another act of violence that is personal – touching lives of leaders and individuals we know. This afternoon there was a shooting at one of our churches – Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, CA – where one person has been killed while five others shot and injured by a gunman who opened fire inside their church building. We lift up these families in prayer as we also lift up Rev. Dr. Steve Marsh, his entire staff and the members of the congregations who call that sacred space a sanctuary for worship and discipleship. According to some reports more than 30 people from the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian congregation (that nests in that building) were inside when the shooting occurred.

This atrocity comes on the heals of the shootings in Buffalo which follow other shootings in Ohio and NY (over the past weeks). Most of these shootings reflect a violence motivated by a hate prompted because of race, religion, sexual orientation – and whatever else is used to divide us from one another. We are called to be a people of hope – but the presence of hope requires that we incarnationally lean into making possible that which is absent. It requires our commitment and our action. For those of us who profess faith, it requires that we rise up from our knees – to resist this senseless pandemic of violence prevalent throughout our nation. We must find a way to work together to stop the insanity. We must find a way to step beyond the continued numbness. But for this moment – I offer my aching heart in lament. Lord, in your mercy – How long?